Generalizing the first-difference correlated random walk for marine animal movement data

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Animal telemetry data are often analysed with discrete time movement models. These models are defined with regular time steps. However, telemetry data from marine animals are observed irregularly. To account for irregular data, a time-irregularised first-difference correlated random walk model with drift is introduced. The model generalizes the commonly used first-difference correlated random walk with regular time steps by allowing irregular time steps, including a drift term, and by allowing different autocorrelation in the two coordinates. The model is applied to data from a ringed seal collected through the Argos satellite system, and is compared to related movement models through simulations. Accounting for irregular data in the movement model results in accurate parameter estimates and reconstruction of movement paths. Further, the introduced model can provide more accurate movement paths than the regular time counterpart. Extracting accurate movement paths from uncertain telemetry data is important for evaluating space use patterns for marine animals, which in turn is crucial for management. Further, handling irregular data directly in the movement model allows efficient simultaneous analyses of several animals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4017
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
Number of pages14
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Medicine, R, Science, Q

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