Velocity-Based Movement Modeling for Individual and Population Level Inference
by Ephraim M. Hanks, Mevin B. Hooten, Devin S. Johnson, Jeremy T. Sterling
Understanding animal movement and resource selection provides important information about the ecology of the animal, but an animal’s movement and behavior are not typically constant in time. We present a velocity-based approach for modeling animal movement in space and time that allows for temporal heterogeneity in an animal’s response to the environment, allows for temporal irregularity in telemetry data, and accounts for the uncertainty in the location information. Population-level inference on movement patterns and resource selection can then be made through cluster analysis of the parameters related to movement and behavior. We illustrate this approach through a study of northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) movement in the Bering Sea, Alaska, USA. Results show sex differentiation, with female northern fur seals exhibiting stronger response to environmental variables.
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