Mapping out a future for ungulate migrations

Matthew J. Kauffman*, Francesca Cagnacci, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes, Mark Hebblewhite, J.G.C. Hopcraft, Jerod A. Merkle, Thomas Mueller, Atle Mysterud, Wibke Peters, Christiane Roettger, Alethea Steingisser, James E. Meacham, Kasahun Abera, Jan Adamczewski, Ellen O. Aikens, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Emily Bennitt, Joel Berger, Charlotte Boyd, Steeve D. CôtéLucie Debeffe, Andrea S. Dekrout, Nandintsetseg Dejid, Emiliano Donadio, Luthando Dziba, William F. Fagan, Claude Fischer, Stefano Focardi, John M. Fryxell, Richard W.S. Fynn, Chris Geremia, Benito A. González, Anne Gunn, Elie Gurarie, Marco Heurich, Jodi Hilty, Mark Hurley, Aran Johnson, Kyle Joly, Petra Kaczensky, Corinne J. Kendall, Pavel Kochkarev, Leonid Kolpaschikov, Rafal Kowalczyk, Frank van Langevelde, Binbin V. Li, Alex L. Lobora, Anne Loison, Tinaapi H. Madiri, David Mallon, Pascal Marchand, Rodrigo A. Medellin, Erling Meisingset, Evelyn Merrill, Arthur D. Middleton, Kevin L. Monteith, Malik Morjan, Thomas A. Morrison, Steffen Mumme, Robin Naidoo, Andres Novaro, Joseph O. Ogutu, Kirk A. Olson, Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Ramiro J.A. Ovejero, Norman Owen-Smith, Antti Paasivaara, Craig Packer, Danila Panchenko, Luca Pedrotti, Andrew J. Plumptre, Christer M. Rolandsen, Sonia Said, Albert Salemgareyev, Aleksandr Savchenko, Piotr Savchenko, Hall Sawyer, Moses Selebatso, Matthew Skroch, Erling Solberg, Jared A. Stabach, Olav Strand, Michael J. Suitor, Yasuyuki Tachiki, Anne Trainor, Arnold Tshipa, Munir Z. Virani, Carly Vynne, Stephanie Ward, George Wittemyer, Wenjing Xu, Steffen Zuther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Migration of ungulates (hooved mammals) is a fundamental ecological process that promotes abundant herds, whose effects cascade up and down terrestrial food webs. Migratory ungulates provide the prey base that maintains large carnivore and scavenger populations and underpins terrestrial biodiversity (fig. S1). When ungulates move in large aggregations, their hooves, feces, and urine create conditions that facilitate distinct biotic communities. The migrations of ungulates have sustained humans for thousands of years, forming tight cultural links among Indigenous people and local communities. Yet ungulate migrations are disappearing at an alarming rate (1). Efforts by wildlife managers and conservationists are thwarted by a singular challenge: Most ungulate migrations have never been mapped in sufficient detail to guide effective conservation. Without a strategic and collaborative effort, many of the world's great migrations will continue to be truncated, severed, or lost in the coming decades. Fortunately, a combination of animal tracking datasets, historical records, and local and Indigenous knowledge can form the basis for a global atlas of migrations, designed to support conservation action and policy at local, national, and international levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-569
Number of pages4
Issue number6542
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021


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