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Data for: Inferring spatially-varying animal movement characteristics using a hierarchical continuous-time velocity model

Citation

Torney, Colin (2022), Data for: Inferring spatially-varying animal movement characteristics using a hierarchical continuous-time velocity model, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5tb2rbp76

Abstract

Understanding the spatial dynamics of animal movement is an essential component of maintaining ecological connectivity, conserving key habitats, and mitigating the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance. Altered movement and migratory patterns are often an early warning sign of the effects of environmental disturbance, and a precursor to population declines. Here, we present a hierarchical Bayesian framework based on Gaussian processes for analysing the spatial characteristics of animal movement. At the heart of our approach is a novel covariance kernel that links the spatially-varying parameters of a continuous-time velocity model with GPS locations from multiple individuals. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework by first applying it to a synthetic dataset, then by analysing telemetry data from the Serengeti wildebeest migration. Through application of our approach, we are able to identify the key pathways of the wildebeest migration as well as revealing the impacts of environmental features on movement behaviour.

Funding

Horizon 2020, Award: 641918