Claire Runge, University of California, Santa Barbara; James Watson, WCS and the University of Queensland; Richard Fuller, University of Queensland | December 11, 2015 06:23pm ET
Claire Runge is a postdoctoral scholar at the National Centre forEcological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, previously at the University of Queensland; James Watson is director of science and research with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and an associate professor at the University of Queensland; Richard Fuller is an associate professor at the University of Queensland. The authors contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
In one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles on the planet, millions of birds migrate each year between their breeding and wintering grounds, undertaking journeys that are remarkable feats of navigation, yet incredibly dangerous.
Migrations can span vast distances, such as the bar-tailed godwit's single flight of nearly 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers), or the Arctic terns, which over the course of their lifetimes travel the same distance as going to the moon and back — three times. Some of them return year after year to the same location, navigating across a planet now vastly changed by humans.