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Candid about Canids

Posted on August 9, 2017 by in The OFI Blog

The study’s authors used the statistical model to look at the natural behaviors of coyotes.

For years, scientists across the world have been trying to find efficient ways to track the movement of animals as they migrate from place to place and any threats that might come up on the way. However, tracking can prove difficult due to noisy data and multiple co-occurring processes, and confirming observations in animals behaviors using animal tracking data has been impossible…until now.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute  (SCBI) and partners have developed a new statistical model that actually allows researchers to dive into data with more extensive detail than before to observe how human activity disrupts natural behaviors of animals on a repeated schedule. Former Smithsonian fellow and current National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) research associate in France Guillaume Péron has primarily authored a paper on this study that was published in the August issue of Ecological Monographs. According to Péron, the new model has allowed for the increase of filtration in background noise and the suspected observation of more species moving around “in a much more structured and regular way than we previously thought”.

The daily, weekly, or monthly schedules that animals, especially those of the canid family, practice in order to find food or defend their territory are very crucial to the survival and reproduction of a species. With this new method, canid species on opposite sides of the spectrum, from maned wolves that live in natural habitats in South America to coyotes that live in the more urban areas of North America, can be observed with the highest accuracy and efficiency.

Click here to learn more about this interesting development!