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    The retrospective analysis of Antarctic tracking data identifies areas of ecological significance in the Southern Ocean

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    Rosemary Nash (SCAR)
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    Rosemary Nash (SCAR)
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    In 2009, the marine predator research community was invited to provide tracking data to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research’s Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals. Over the next decade, the Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD) team collated and painstakingly quality-controlled and filtered over 4,000 tracks (3 million locations) from 17 marine predator species, studied between 1991 and 2016. This dataset, published in a recent data paper (Ropert-Coudert et al. 2020), includes contributions from more than 70 scientists from 12 National Antarctic Programs and represents the field efforts of hundreds of individuals. An important feature of the dataset is that it is freely available to everyone. The data underpinned a second paper, published in the journal Nature this year (Hindell et al. 2020), wherein the RAATD team identified ‘Areas of Ecological Significance’ in the Southern Ocean, and highlighted the relevance of these areas for management and conservation of the region.