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Science School Report: Animal Movement Environmental Data (AniMove) 2016

AniMove or Animal Movement Environmental Data is a yearly science school organized by scientists and researchers working with different institutes in Germany and abroad such as the Smithsonian Institution, Max Plank Institute and University of Würzburg. It has a duration of two weeks where participating scientists are encouraged to bring their own animal movement data which is processed and interpreted with the help of R programming language and other remote sensing resources, such as satellite imagery, where environmental data can be integrated with animal movement data.

I participated at last year's AniMove Science School (2016) at the Max Plank Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Germany from September 18th to September 30th 2016.

The workflow consisted of using animal movement data downloaded from movebank.org which is an online portal for animal movement track records. I used movement data for two Mongolian wolves tracked between 2003 and 2005 by Dr. Petra Kaczensky. With the help of researchers at the Max Planck Institute, I analyzed these movement records to study wolf movement patterns, home ranges, denning sites and their occurrence patterns in South Western Mongolia, where they were tracked.

As my core interest lies in human - wildlife conflict, AniMove 2016 allowed me to explore and understand human and environmental drivers of animal movement in a systematic and scientific manner. With the help of programming tools and remotely sensed data I was able to integrate different predictor variables for animal movement response. For anyone who is interested in conservation of wildlife, AniMove is a unique opportunity to learn how to use computational tools for a more accurate and scientific methodology for animal movement analyses and wildlife management.

About AniMove

Animal movement analysis, species distribution modelling and application of remote sensing techniques are nowadays required for conservation and biodiversity research worldwide. AniMove offers joint cutting edge movement ecology with key insights into remotely acquired data for conservation purposes.

Text: Tejas Bhagwat

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