Characterizing Individual Variation in Resource Selection of Elk in Missouri


Characterizing Individual Variation in Resource Selection of Elk in Missouri

DataSet Animal(s) : Elk
DataSet Category : Mammals
DataSet Region : North America
DataSet Type : Research
DataSet Access : Private
DataSet URL :

Resource selection functions (RSF) are widely applied by ecologists in quantifying space use from animal telemetry data. Inference is typically desired at the population-level. A common approach is to pool data from all telemetered animals and fit a model where coefficients at the individual level are considered random effects drawn from a population-level distribution. This technique has been shown to be valuable for understanding broad scale selection, but when the focal population is comprised of various intrinsic categories (e.g. age class) or are spatially clustered (e.g. two sub-populations occupying different areas of the landscape), valuable information may be lost by pooling data. We are investigating individual variation in resource selection among a population of elk (Cervus elaphus) introduced into the Missouri Ozarks and monitored thereafter. We are modeling elk location data collected from Global Positioning System (GPS) collars using Bayesian discrete choice RSFs fit at the level of each individual animal, and exploring the results in two ways: 1) interpretation of variability among individual RSF coefficients, and 2) examination of model selection approaches, comparing the importance of variables in predicting selection across these individuals.

DataSet Agency : RECaP Laboratory

DataSet Agency Contact :