We describe the development, structure, and corroboration process of a simulation model of animal behavior (MOAB). MOAB can create spatially explicit, individual-based animal foraging models. Users can create or replicate heterogeneous landscape patterns, and place resources and individual animals of a goven species on that landscape to simultaneously simulate the foraging behavior of multiple species. The heuristic rules for animal behavior are maintained in a user-modifiable expert system. MOAB can be used to explore hypotheses concerning the influence of landscape patttern on animal movement and foraging behavior. A red fox (Vulpes vulpes L.) foraging and nest predation model was created to test MOAB's capabilities. Foxes were simulated for 30-day periods using both expert system and random movement rules. Home range size, territory formation and other available simulation studies. A striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis L.) model also was developed. The expert system model proved superior to stochastic in respect to territory formation, general movement patterns and home range size.
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MOAB: a spatially explicit, individual-based expert system for creating animal foraging models