The remote link between animal migrations and online activity

Mar 11, 2019, 8:29 AM EDT
(Source: j van cise photos/flickr)
(Source: j van cise photos/flickr)

A new research has unearthed a fascinating link between animal migrations and our Internet activity, reflecting how rhythms and patterns in the natural world shape what we look for online, potentially offering new ways to keep track of biodiversity.

The researchers from the University of Oxford, the University of Birmingham, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev assessed 2.5 billion Wikipedia pages from a timeframe of nearly three years, covering over 30,000 species and across 245 language editions, notes Science Daily.

The analysis found that Wikipedia interests among people correspond to seasonal trends; for example, the page searches for migratory species like the Indigo bunting spiked in the U.S. during the spring season when these birds flock here for breeding, reports Scientific American.

This correlation could be used to keep an eye on how particular species are faring across the world. The researchers just need to study and record the Internet buzz about the species of interest.