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The unique spatial ecology of human hunters

Cite this dataset

Mysterud, Atle et al. (2020). The unique spatial ecology of human hunters [Dataset]. Dryad.


Human hunters are described as ‘superpredators’ with a unique ecology. Chronic Wasting Disease among cervids and African swine fever among wild boar are emerging wildlife diseases in Europe with huge economic and cultural repercussions. Understanding hunter movements at broad scales has implications for how to control their spread. Here we show, based on the analysis of the settlement patterns and movements of reindeer (n = 9,685), red deer (n = 47,845), moose (n = 60,365), and roe deer (n = 42,530) hunters from across Norway (2001-2017), that hunter density was more closely linked to human density than prey density, that hunters were largely migratory, aggregated with increasing regional prey densities and often used dogs. Hunter movements extended across Europe and to other continents. Our results provide extensive evidence that the broad-scale movements and residency patterns of post-industrial hunters relative to their prey differ from those of large carnivores.


Data was collected by downloading official statistics from Statistics Norway.

Details of analysis is provided in form of code.

Usage notes

Please see readme files


Norwegian Environment Agency