Incorporating temporal variation in seabird telemetry data: time variant kernel density models

By: , and 



A key component of the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies project was tracking the individual movements of focal marine bird species (Red-throated Loon [Gavia stellata], Northern Gannet [Morus bassanus], and Surf Scoter [Melanitta perspicillata]) through the use of satellite telemetry. This element of the project was a collaborative effort with the Department of Energy (DOE), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV), among other organizations. Satellite telemetry is an effective and informative tool for understanding individual animal movement patterns, allowing researchers to mark an individual once, and thereafter follow the movements of the animal in space and time. Aggregating telemetry data from multiple individuals can provide information about the spatial use and temporal movements of populations.

Tracking data is three dimensional, with the first two dimensions, X and Y, ordered along the third dimension, time. GIS software has many capabilities to store, analyze and visualize the location information, but little or no support for visualizing the temporal data, and tools for processing temporal data are lacking. We explored several ways of analyzing the movement patterns using the spatiotemporal data provided by satellite tags. Here, we present the results of one promising method: time-variant kernel density analysis (Keating and Cherry, 2009). The goal of this chapter is to demonstrate new methods in spatial analysis to visualize and interpret tracking data for a large number of individual birds across time in the mid-Atlantic study area and beyond. In this chapter, we placed greater emphasis on analytical methods than on the behavior and ecology of the animals tracked. For more detailed examinations of the ecology and wintering habitat use of the focal species in the midAtlantic, see Chapters 20-22.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Incorporating temporal variation in seabird telemetry data: time variant kernel density models
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Biodiversity Research Institute
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 21 p.
First page 1
Last page 21
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details