Animal migration

Publication date:
October 2021

Animal migrations are spectacular phenomena that have fascinated humanity for millennia. They also play vital roles in ecosystem processes, transferring nutrients, carbon, energy and genes, and supporting cultural resources and traditions. However, migratory populations are in an alarming decline due to the manifold threats they face in our rapidly changing world. This issue of environmental SCIENTIST explores the complexities of animal migration and the actions needed to reverse declines in the numbers of terrestrial, marine and avian travellers making these impressive journeys. Read about the system considerations of migration, the importance of international cooperation for saiga antelope conservation, the fascinating multigenerational monarch butterfly migration, and initiatives to improve the future of the European eel.

If you are an education provider, our learning resources provide information for informal, seminar-style discussions of the topics explored in each issue of the journal. Download the learning resource for this issue (docx).

  1. Protecting nature’s magnificent migrations – Amy Fraenkel
  2. Animal migrations: spectacular and spectacularly threatened – Silke Bauer and Andrew Farnsworth
  3. Migration: a systemic consideration – Mark Everard 
  4. The saiga story: how international cooperation has been a key factor for conservation success – Aline Kühl-Stenzel
  5. Bird migration: mysteries, movements, marathons and modifications – Anne Goodenough
  6. IES photography competition
  7. The great Mexico-USA migration of the monarch butterfly – Joseph Martin
  8. Eels in the River Thames – Anna Forbes, Oli Back, Mia Ridler, Jess Mead, Joe Pecorelli and Wanda Bodnar
  9. How well do we understand the migratory habitats and needs of freshwater fish? Mark Everard
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Bea Gilbert

Publications Lead


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