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Title: Modelling central place foraging of wolves Authors:  Juha Heikkinen - Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (Finland) [presenting]
Anna-Kaisa Ylitalo - Natural Resources Institute Finland (Finland)
Ilpo Kojola - Natural Resources Institute Finland (Finland)
Abstract: Central place foraging refers to a common movement behaviour of many wild animals, where the most notable regular feature are foraging trips starting from and ending to a fixed residence. Such movement is particularly typical to adult wolves during the early summer. The pups are then still too small to join in foraging. They stay near the den, and the adults return regularly to feed them. We present a hidden Markov model (HMM), which captures the main movement modes related to the different parts of the typical foraging trips of wolves. The model was developed on the basis of twelve intensively monitored two months movement tracks with approximately 2,500 GPS-relocations per track. In model validation, the focus is on the ultimate aims. First, simulations from the null model of independent trips are required to evaluate different hypotheses concerning possible dependence between subsequent trips. Secondly, the HMM should be a useful component in the interpolation model, which would allow us to utilize the 200 less intensively monitored tracks more efficiently.