eCite Digital Repository

Estimation and simulation of foraging trips in land-based marine predators


Michelot, T and Langrock, R and Bestley, S and Jonsen, ID and Photopoulou, T and Patterson, TA, Estimation and simulation of foraging trips in land-based marine predators, Ecology, 98, (7) pp. 1932-1944. ISSN 0012-9658 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 by the Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1002/ecy.1880


The behavior of colony-based marine predators is the focus of much research globally. Large telemetry and tracking data sets have been collected for this group of animals, and are accompanied by many empirical studies that seek to segment tracks in some useful way, as well as theoretical studies of optimal foraging strategies. However, relatively few studies have detailed statistical methods for inferring behaviors in central place foraging trips. In this paper we describe an approach based on hidden Markov models, which splits foraging trips into segments labeled as "outbound", "search", "forage", and "inbound". By structuring the hidden Markov model transition matrix appropriately, the model naturally handles the sequence of behaviors within a foraging trip. Additionally, by structuring the model in this way, we are able to develop realistic simulations from the fitted model. We demonstrate our approach on data from southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) tagged on Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean. We discuss the differences between our 4-state model and the widely used 2-state model, and the advantages and disadvantages of employing a more complex model.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:animal telemetry, central place foraging, hidden Markov model, Mirounga leonina, southern elephant seal
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Bestley, S (Dr Sophie Bestley)
ID Code:120050
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:37
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-09
Last Modified:2018-05-28
Downloads:169 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page