Previous methods of encounter rate estimation have relied on the assumption that animals travel everywhere with equal probability. By incorporating information on how animals use their home ranges unevenly, Smithsonian scientists are able to estimate encounter rates with greater accuracy than ever before.
Encounter locations are important for understanding animal behavior because animals are likely to act differently at locations where they may encounter predators, competitors, or mates (Fig. 1).
Smithsonian scientists have developed a new method for describing the spatial distribution of encounters called the ‘conditional distribution of encounters’ (CDE; Fig. 2).
- M. J. Noonan, R. Martinez-Garcia, G. H. Davis, M. C. Crofoot, R. Kays, B. T. Hirsch, E. Payne et al. “Estimating encounter location distributions from animal tracking data.” biorxiv (2020).
- R. Martinez-Garcia, C. H. Fleming, R. Seppelt, W. F. Fagan, and J. M. Calabrese. “How range residency and long-range perception change encounter rates.” Journal of Theoretical Biology (2020):110267.
- K. Winner, M. J. Noonan, C. H. Fleming, K. Olson, T. Mueller, D. Sheldon, J. M. Calabrese, “Statistical inference for home range overlap”, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9:7, 1679-1691 (2018)