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A random walk model that accounts for space occupation and movements of a large herbivore

Abstract : Abstract Animal movement has been identified as a key feature in understanding animal behavior, distribution and habitat use and foraging strategies among others. Large datasets of invididual locations often remain unused or used only in part due to the lack of practical models that can directly infer the desired features from raw GPS locations and the complexity of existing approaches. Some of them being disputed for their lack of biological justifications in their design. We propose a simple model of individual movement with explicit parameters, based on a two-dimensional biased and correlated random walk with three forces related to advection (correlation), attraction (bias) and immobility of the animal. These forces can be directly estimated using individual data. We demonstrate the approach by using GPS data of 5 red deer with a high frequency sampling. The results show that a simple random walk template can account for the spatial complexity of wild animals. The practical design of the model is also verified for detecting spatial feature abnormalities and for providing estimates of density and abundance of wild animals. Integrating even more additional features of animal movement, such as individuals’ interactions or environmental repellents, could help to better understand the spatial behavior of wild animals.
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Contributeur : Geoffroy Berthelot <>
Soumis le : vendredi 16 juillet 2021 - 15:35:37
Dernière modification le : samedi 17 juillet 2021 - 03:47:39

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Geoffroy Berthelot, Sonia Saïd, Vincent Bansaye. A random walk model that accounts for space occupation and movements of a large herbivore. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-93387-2⟩. ⟨hal-03288923⟩

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