NorTrack is Biodiversa+ funded project that will transform the way we monitor biodiversity in the Northeast Atlantic
NorTrack aims to monitor the movements of aquatic species critical to the Northeast Atlantic (NEA) via cooperative infrastructure, in an effort to address questions related to major ecological challenges. How will changing climate, or ongoing offshore development alter the behaviour of fishes, and their function within the ecosystem?
Mobile species play an essential role in seascape connectivity. NorTrack will track the movement of species (e.g., porbeagle, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, spiny dogfish, thornback ray) to assess connectivity across regions of the NEA, identify habitat use patterns, and help design management strategies at ecologically meaningful scales by connecting international partners representing species that cross boundaries. This goal will be achieved using telemetry – the tracking of animals remotely – which enables the monitoring of animals from regional to continental or even global scales, and from minutes to decades.
Telemetry has yielded key information about the biology and ecology of these aquatic animals, but much more knowledge can be gained if efforts to tag and detect animals were performed collaboratively, as part of a network. As such, NorTrack will operate within the framework of the ETN, which coordinates tracking efforts in Europe, and interfaces with national and international management bodies to deliver actionable data products that support biodiversity conservation for mobile species at relevant scales. NorTrack will also work closely with the Horizon Europe-funded project STRAITS (Strategic Infrastructure for Improved Animal Tracking in Europeans Seas), which is instrumenting the four corners of Europe with acoustic telemetry infrastructure to detect acoustically-tagged animals. In particular, NorTrack will leverage the acoustic infrastructure at the Danish Straits (tracking movements between the Baltic and Kattegat Sea) and the SeaMonitor Array (tracking movements between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea) to monitor movements in and out of the North Sea.
The NorTrack team is made up of 8 leading organisations in the study of animal movement. Together, they will advance our understanding of aquatic animal movements in the Northeast Atlantic, and change the way biodiversity is monitored in Northern European waters, thereby contributing to conservation and policy initiatives. The project is set to make waves for the next three years.
If you have any questions about NorTrack, please contact Dr. Kim Birnie-Gauvin (email@example.com).
NorTrack is funded by Biodiversa+, the European Biodiversity Partnership under the 2022-2023 BiodivMon joint call for research proposals, co-funded by the European Commission (GA N°101052342) and with the funding organisations Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland, Innovation Fund Denmark, Research Council of Norway, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Office Français de la Biodiversité, Belgian Science Policy Office, and Swedish National Space Agency.