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Fact Sheet 2008–3095

Management and Research Applications of Long-range Surveillance Radar Data for Birds, Bats, and Flying Insects

By Janet M. Ruth, Jeffrey J. Buler, Robert H. Diehl, and Richard S. Sojda


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There is renewed interest in using long-range surveillance radar as a biological research tool due to substantial improvements in the network of radars within the United States. Technical improvements, the digital nature of the radar data, and the availability of computing power and geographic information systems, enable a broad range of biological applications. This publication provides a summary of long-range surveillance radar technology and applications of these data to questions about movement patterns of birds and other flying wildlife. The intended audience is potential radar-data end users, including natural-resource management and regulatory agencies, conservation organizations, and industry. This summary includes a definition of long-range surveillance radar, descriptions of its strengths and weaknesses, information on applications of the data, cost, methods of calibration, and what end users need to do, and some key references and resources.

Version 1.0

Posted December 2008

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Suggested citation:

Ruth, J.M., Buler, J.J., Diehl, R.H., and Sojda, R.S., 2008, Management and research applications of long-range surveillance radar data for birds, bats, and flying insects: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2008-3095, 4 p.

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