Resource-Area-Dependence Analysis: inferring animal resource needs from home-range and mapping data

Kenward, Robert E.; Arraut, Eduardo M.; Robertson, Peter A.; Walls, Sean S.; Casey, Nicholas M.; Aebischer, Nicholas J.. 2018 Resource-Area-Dependence Analysis: inferring animal resource needs from home-range and mapping data. PLoS ONE, 13 (10), e0206354. 20, pp.

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An animal’s home-range can be expected to encompass the resources it requires for surviving or reproducing. Thus, animals inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape, where resource patches vary in size, shape and distribution, will naturally have home-ranges of varied sizes, so that each home-range encompasses a minimum required amount of a resource. Home-range size can be estimated from telemetry data, and often key resources, or proxies for them such as the areas of important habitat types, can be mapped. We propose a new method, Resource-Area-Dependence Analysis (RADA), which uses a sample of tracked animals and a categorical map to i) infer in which map categories important resources are accessible, ii) within which home range cores they are found, and iii) estimate the mean minimum areas of these map categories required for such resource provision. We provide three examples of applying RADA to datasets of radio-tracked animals from southern England: 15 red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris, 17 gray squirrels S. carolinensis and 114 common buzzards Buteo buteo. The analyses showed that each red squirrel required a mean (95% CL) of 0.48 ha (0.24–-0.97) of pine wood within the outermost home-range, each gray squirrel needed 0.34 ha (0.11–1.12) ha of mature deciduous woodland and 0.035–0.046 ha of wheat, also within the outermost home-range, while each buzzard required 0.54 ha (0.35–0.82) of rough ground close to the home-range center and 14 ha (11–17) of meadow within an intermediate core, with 52% of them also relying on 0.41 ha (0.29–0.59) of suburban land near the home-range center. RADA thus provides a useful tool to infer key animal resource requirements during studies of animal movement and habitat use.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 31 Oct 2018 12:02 +0 (UTC)

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