Movement Analysis of GPS-Collared Moose Species in Northern Minnesota, USA

Authors: Mohsen Ahmadkhani*, University of Minnesota, GLENN D. DelGIUDICE, Forest Wildlife Populations and Research Group, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, VÉRONIQUE ST-LOUIS, Wildlife Biometrics Unit, Section of Wildlife, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, WILLIAM J. SEVERUD, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, TYLER R. OBERMOLLER, Farmland Wildlife Populations and Research Group, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Topics: Animal Geographies, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Movement analysis, Moose, GIS, space-time analysis, Minnesota
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Abstract: The population of the North American moose (Alces alces) species has significantly decreased in the past decades. Hence, studying the movement behavior and pattern of these species is essential. Generally, to collect the time series of spatial location data of animals, GPS collaring method has widely been used. However, recent studies show that this method causes abandonments of newly-born offspring by their dams known as capture-induced abandonment. Early detection of capture-induced abandonments can efficiently help in retrieving and saving the abandoned neonates. In the present study, three different analytical steps were taken including similarity analysis using Dynamic Interaction (DI) method, home-range analysis using MPC method, and calf/dam reunion analysis. The outputs of DI method showed that non-abandoned calves and their dams had higher values of similarity (DI=0.13, DI_D=0.52, and DI_Theta=0.16). However, abandoned calves and their dams recorded less similar trajectories (DI=0, DI_D=0.41, and DI_Theta=0). Besides, MCP analysis revealed that non-abandoned calves and their dams had home ranges with almost equal areas (773 Hec for calves versus 780 Hec for dams). While on average the home range areas of abandoned calves were roughly 2 percent of their dams (5 Hec versus 268 Hec). Lastly, reunion analysis showed that 7 out of 18 abandoned calves had at last 2 reunions. While non-abandoning dams regularly joined their calves every 5 hours. These findings show that movement pattern analyses can help in detecting an abandoned case even in the initial few hours.

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