Forecasting wildlife movement with spatial capture–recapture
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Forecasting wildlife movement with spatial capture–recapture

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  • Journal Title:
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution
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    Wildlife movement is an important process affecting species population biology and community interactions in myriad ways. Studies of wildlife movement have focused on retrospectively estimating movements of small numbers of individuals by outfitting them with GPS and telemetry tags. Recent developments in spatial capture–recapture modelling permit the integration of movement models that can estimate the movement of untagged and undetected individuals. Additionally, hidden Markov movement models provide a framework for forecasting individuals' movements, which may be valuable in the conservation of threatened species facing risks that vary across space and time. We describe maximum likelihood estimators for spatial capture–recapture models integrated with simple, biased and correlated random walk movement models formulated as hidden Markov models. Additionally, we demonstrate how to forecast wildlife movement based on these models and hidden Markov model algorithms. We conducted a simulation study to test the performance of the models' abundance estimators and movement forecasts when fit to data simulated under different movement models. We also fit the models to spatial capture–recapture data collected on North Atlantic right whales off the Atlantic Coast of the southeastern United States. Random walk movement models improved abundance estimation and movement forecasts in our simulation study and received greater support from the data in the right whale case study than did activity centre movement models. Forecasts of wildlife movement made under integrated spatial capture–recapture movement models will be most valuable when individuals have been observed recently, when sampling for individuals is extensive and efficient, and when the scale of individuals' movements is small relative to the scale of the study area and sampling process.
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    Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 14(11), 2844-2855
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    CC BY-NC
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