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  • We know that some animals make amazing long-distance journeys called migrations. This article explores some of the technology scientists use to track the animals and their journeys.

    Rights: © Crown 2016

    Connected article: On the move

    An article in the 2016 level 3 Connected journal ‘Picture this’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Photograph of caribou, Andrew E. Russell, CC BY 2.0

    Seasonal migrations

    The article briefly describes the migration patterns for southern right whales, longfin eels, North American monarch butterflies and humans. It explains how scientists track migrating animals by using the simplest of devices such as small stickers or more high-tech satellite transmitters.

    The illustrations include maps, a life cycle diagram and images that provide multiple opportunities for students to develop the science capability ‘Interpret representations’.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school resource area for this article from the 2016 level 3 Connected journal ‘Picture this’, download it as a Google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: © Crown 2016

    2016 Connected level 3: Picture this

    The cover of the 2016 level 3 Connected journal ‘Picture this’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the article ‘On the move’.

    Photograph of caribou, Andrew E. Russell, CC BY 2.0

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi as Word and PDF files. The TSM has two activities – Reporting on migration and Taking action as citizen scientists – that are designed to extend students’ content knowledge and science capabilities.

    Related content

    Instant Wild is an online citizen science project that uses hidden cameras to photograph or video animals in a range of worldwide locations. Citizen scientists label and categorise animals. The information helps the scientists who monitor the locations of different species.

    The following resources provide additional information about animal migration and how scientists and citizen scientists track the animals.

    This article from The Conversation, looks at could we be seeing the end of some of the great animal migrations? Fishing, fences and development are fast-tracking extinctions.



    Monarch butterflies


    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    The world's migratory species are in dire decline, according to the first-ever UN report on the State of the World's Migratory Species released in 2024.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 8 April 2019 Referencing Hub articles
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