Fish and Wildlife Population Ecology  - Dr. Edward O. Garton


Synoptic Modeling of Animal Location Data Combining Animal Movements, Home Range and Resource Selection

A Workshop presented by Dr. Edward O. Garton 9 July 2012 at the International Wildlife Management Congress in Durban, South Africa

Authors:  Edward O. Garton, Jon S. Horne, Adam G. Wells, Janet Rachlow and Kerri Nicholson Department of Fish and Wildlife Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA and Moses M. Okello, SFS Centre for Wildlife Management Studies, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Abstract:  The goals of this workshop are to expose participants to a new approach to analysis of animal location data that combines animal movements, home range and resource selection analyses into a synoptic model of space use and to provide them with experience using analytical software to perform the statistical analyses required.  Participants will learn the details of the following steps to develop a synoptic model: 1) State research question clearly with details of why location data are required to answer it.  2) Define animal population of interest and sampling approach providing inference to it. 3) Identify potentially important strata (e.g. age-sex-behavior classes, temporal seasons).  4) Select either to delineate a sharp boundary (polygon) or a smooth boundary or density estimator (kernel) or continue to model movement  or space use (synoptic model of movement or home range and resource selection).  5) List potential ecological factors/processes/drivers to evaluate for models (e.g., food resources, inter-specific and intra-specific competitors, predators, security or thermal cover, water or salt sources, energetic demands, hazards).  6) Formulate set of competing synoptic models.  7) Assemble potentially predictive covariate maps.  8) Fit multiple competing synoptic models for each stratum.  9) Re-evaluate original strata by evaluating/testing differences and collapsing strata where feasible. 10) Refit models.  11) Write it up, present it, use it for adaptive management and start validating and improving it.  Instructors will present numerous examples of synoptic models including space use of white rhino males in Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe, mountain goats in Cascade Mountains, Washington, USA, golden eagles migrating from Idaho, USA to British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, USA, wood thrush in Costa Rica and Ocelot in Texas, USA.  Instructors will compare results and estimates obtained from synoptic models to alternative approaches.  Each participant bringing a laptop computer will be guided through analysis of synoptic models from software and data provided to workshop participants and instructions on obtaining all required software free from internet web sites (R and R packages, University of Idaho web sites maintained by workshop authors, etc.).

Material Presented at this workshop is available for download as a single zipped archive (40 Meg) or as zipped archives of individual portions of the presentations:
Downloads Available:
IWMC Synoptic Model Workshop Complete Archive  - 40 Meg zipped file
Synoptic Model brief handout (pdf)
Synoptic Modeling Powerpoint presentation (pdf)
Animal Space Use 1.3 (zip)
Synoptic Modeling Workshop Labs (zip)
Synoptic Modeling Workshop Publications (zipped pdfs)
Synoptic Model Workshop R Code and Example Data Sets (zip)