Leveraging constraints and biotelemetry data to pinpoint repetitively used spatial features

Ecology
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Satellite telemetry devices collect valuable information concerning the sites visited by animals, including the location of central places like dens, nests, rookeries, or haul‐outs. Existing methods for estimating the location of central places from telemetry data require user‐specified thresholds and ignore common nuances like measurement error. We present a fully model‐based approach for locating central places from telemetry data that accounts for multiple sources of uncertainty and uses all of the available locational data. Our general framework consists of an observation model to account for large telemetry measurement error and animal movement, and a highly flexible mixture model specified using a Dirichlet process to identify the location of central places. We also quantify temporal patterns in central place use by incorporating ancillary behavioral data into the model; however, our framework is also suitable when no such behavioral data exist. We apply the model to a simulated data set as proof of concept. We then illustrate our framework by analyzing an Argos satellite telemetry data set on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Gulf of Alaska, a species that exhibits fidelity to terrestrial haul‐out sites.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Leveraging constraints and biotelemetry data to pinpoint repetitively used spatial features
Series title Ecology
DOI 10.1002/ecy.1618
Volume 98
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 9 p.
First page 12
Last page 20
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Kodiak Island