Red Deer in the Mesolcina: Space Utilization and Migration Patterns
Project Number: CH-6020
||01/02/2017 - ?
||Prof. Robert Weibel
Geographic Information Systems
Geographisches Institut - Geographic Information Systems
Phone: +41 (0) 44 635 51 90 ; +41 (0) 44 635 51 11
FAX: +41 (0) 44 635 68 48
| other areas of environmental sciences|
red deer, migration patterns, cervus elaphus
Research question 1: What are the different migration and activity patterns on different temporal scales (daytime/season)? Can differences between stags and hinds be identified?
Only to know when and how an animal moves is not sufficient to plan and implement sustainable management solutions. The question of why an animal moves is also of crucial importance. Hence, I will relate the movement and activity patterns to precipitation and temperature.
In addition, as stated above, activity and movement patterns are influenced by human activity, be it hunting or recreational activities, as well as natural influences and obstacles such as predation, forage quality or rivers.
Research question 2: To what extent are the activity patterns influenced by man-made structures such as highways, towns and agricultural fields as well a natural factors such as predation, forage quality and obstacles such as rivers? Do hunting and recreational activities of humans influence the activity patterns of red deer?
Human influences are an important factor in the Mesolcina since especially in the valleys human population is high and agriculture is common. At the same time, these regions provide optimal conditions as wintering grounds for red deer resulting in damage by game (Amt für Jagd und Fischerei Graubünden, 2014). As a consequence, I want to analyse when red deer move into the agriculturally used fields and whether their activity patterns differ in natural or man-made landscapes.
Research question 3: When might agricultural damage by game occur and which crops are preferred by red deer?
Since I do not only have to rely on GPS-data but also have accelerometer data available I also want to investigate activity patterns based on the locomotion speed. For example whether the average speed increases during hunting seasons and decreases during winter. Differences between sexes can also be studied. Linking behavioural characteristics such as feeding, resting and moving can also be analysed with the accelerometer data and be linked to the GPS data.
It has to be noted that even though all the studied animals belong to the same species, they also have to be seen as individuals which might show differing behaviour due to varying preferences and experiences.
These research questions are still susceptible to change and/or refinement during the progress of my master thesis.
Last update: 4/18/17
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-6020