Meteorological data policies needed to support biodiversity monitoring with weather radar

Judy Shamoun‐Baranes, Silke Bauer, Jason W. Chapman, Peter Desmet, Adriaan M. Dokter, Andrew Farnsworth, Hans van Gasteren, Birgen Haest, Jarmo Koistinen, Bart Kranstauber, Felix Liechti, Tom Mason, Cecilia Nilsson, Raphael Nussbaumer, Baptiste Schmid, Nadja Weisshaupt, Hidde Leijnse

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Weather radar networks have great potential for continuous and long-term monitoring of aerial biodiversity of birds, bats, and insects. Biological data from weather radars can support ecological research, inform conservation policy development and implementation, and increase the public’s interest in natural phenomena such as migration. Weather radars are already used to study animal migration, quantify changes in populations, and reduce aerial conflicts between birds and aircraft. Yet efforts to establish a framework for the broad utilization of operational weather radar for biodiversity monitoring are at risk without suitable data policies and infrastructure in place. In Europe, the meteorological and ecological communities have made joint efforts towards sharing and standardizing continent-wide weather radar data. These efforts are now at risk as new meteorological data exchange policies render data useless for biodiversity monitoring. In several other parts of the world, weather radar data are not even available for ecological research. We urge policy makers, funding agencies and meteorological organizations across the world to recognize the full potential of weather radar data. We propose several actions which would ensure the continued capability of weather radar networks worldwide to act as powerful tools for biodiversity monitoring and research.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)E1234–E1242
Publication statusPublished - 27-Apr-2022

Thematic List 2020

  • Data & infrastructure

Thematic list

  • Birds

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B280-animal-ecology

Free keywords

  • weather radar
  • data policy


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