GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

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GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by jimbob » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:51 pm

Interesting article, showing the tracks over time

https://www.earthlymission.com/gps-trac ... ers-range/

I would like to have made the older tracks fade to pale during the animation to make it easier to see the development over time relative to each other but still
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm

That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).

I've seen territory mapping of birds where they're constantly nipping in and out of each others' territories and having scraps, the wee scamps. Will see if I can dig out some animations.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by jimbob » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:58 pm

Yes, that would be cool.

My daughter obviously knows my interests, as she sent it to me
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by basementer » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:59 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).

I've seen territory mapping of birds where they're constantly nipping in and out of each others' territories and having scraps, the wee scamps. Will see if I can dig out some animations.
Was it you that linked to the article about vultures staying on the Spanish side of the border with Purtugal? ... um this one

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-fro ... e-43244856
I'll think of something.

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:08 pm

basementer wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:59 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).

I've seen territory mapping of birds where they're constantly nipping in and out of each others' territories and having scraps, the wee scamps. Will see if I can dig out some animations.
Was it you that linked to the article about vultures staying on the Spanish side of the border with Purtugal? ... um this one

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-fro ... e-43244856
It wasn't!

The availability of carcasses from farmed cattle is a double-edged sword.

The drug diclofenac is used in cattle as a prophylactic anti-worm treatment, but it's fatal to vultures that eat treated cattle (causes kidney failure IIRC).

It's already nearly wiped out vultures in Asia, with many species declining by up to 99% before it was finally banned after a lengthy fight. It's currently doing the same to vultures in Africa. Spain is one of only two European countries permitting its use (the other is Italy), so while free food for endangered birds is generally a good thing, there are concerns about accidental poisoning (in addition to the deliberate poisoning that still goes on).

On my phone but can find links to things tomorrow.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:46 pm

Wasn't there also a British site tracking the flight of a bird of prey over southern England? Flew from Dorset to Essex I think.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:47 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).
I wonder how that works with mating? If the wolves only mate within their own pack I assume they'll get inbred. So there must be some way they could cross into another pack's territory for a shag without getting torn to pieces ...

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Gfamily » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:17 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).
I wonder how that works with mating? If the wolves only mate within their own pack I assume they'll get inbred. So there must be some way they could cross into another pack's territory for a shag without getting torn to pieces ...
Maybe they switch off GPS for that, y-know privacy settings.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:29 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).
I wonder how that works with mating? If the wolves only mate within their own pack I assume they'll get inbred. So there must be some way they could cross into another pack's territory for a shag without getting torn to pieces ...
I'm no expert on mammals of any sort, so maybe somebody will be able to correct or add to this.

In general, in territorial species, dispersal is generally done by young-ish animals - old enough to be independent, but not quite old enough to become socially dominant. This is generally true of birds and mammals - young animals will wander around all over the place, but adults tend to become quite fixed in their habits, including their location. A random google result suggests that this is the case for wolves http://biology.kenyon.edu/stures/compsb ... ersal.html

It's also generally true that the sex that holds the territory (normally females in mammals, and males in birds) disperses over shorter distances than the other sex - I've not found anything confirming this for wolves specifically, but my suspicion is that young male wolves travel further than young females.

This is because of the importance of information and learning, acquired in early life, for subsequent successful territory-holding - you need to know what resources and risks are present, where they are, and how to exploit/avoid them.

So yes - as the alphas of a wolf pack generally do most of the breeding (certainly the alpha female - there are probably some interesting genetic studies on extra-pair paternity!) inbreeding would rapidly become a problem without this built-in tendency for youngsters to head off and do their own thing.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:39 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:46 pm
Wasn't there also a British site tracking the flight of a bird of prey over southern England? Flew from Dorset to Essex I think.
There is a huge amount of tracking work done globally, including in the UK.

Here is an amazing visualisation of the thousands of tracks uploaded to the largest online repository, which is only a fraction of what's available (and that's two years old).

There's a lot of challenges - miniaturisation of tech and battery capacity, finding methods to attach tags to animals without impairing their movements (which would be bad for welfare and balls up your study), and then you have to get data back off the tags - either using mobile phone networks (which can have hilarious consequences), satellite transmission (there are two major projects in beta stage at the moment, both with annoying problems) or you have to try to catch the animal again to retrieve a tag with built-in storage.

People have also started putting tri-axial accelerometers into tags (which record the animal's body position several times a second), which enables you to classify behaviours of, say, an albatross in the middle of the sea, so you can see which areas are most useful for feeding vs resting vs shagging, or whatever.

It's really an exciting time for wildlife tracking! Things I thought were exciting a decade ago are boring as sh.t and old-hat now. (Which reminds me that I'm supposed to be finishing a manuscript rather than dicking about on the internet)
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:44 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:17 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).
I wonder how that works with mating? If the wolves only mate within their own pack I assume they'll get inbred. So there must be some way they could cross into another pack's territory for a shag without getting torn to pieces ...
Maybe they switch off GPS for that, y-know privacy settings.
Or just leave the GPS in a cave and pretend to be sleeping.

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:45 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:29 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 pm
That is very cool, thanks!

Very impressive how tightly-defined the territory edges seem to be - suggests to me that the consequences for crossing the boundary are severe enough that it's not generally worth the risk (which makes sense - I wouldn't risk it with a wolf pack either).
I wonder how that works with mating? If the wolves only mate within their own pack I assume they'll get inbred. So there must be some way they could cross into another pack's territory for a shag without getting torn to pieces ...
I'm no expert on mammals of any sort, so maybe somebody will be able to correct or add to this.

In general, in territorial species, dispersal is generally done by young-ish animals - old enough to be independent, but not quite old enough to become socially dominant. This is generally true of birds and mammals - young animals will wander around all over the place, but adults tend to become quite fixed in their habits, including their location. A random google result suggests that this is the case for wolves http://biology.kenyon.edu/stures/compsb ... ersal.html

It's also generally true that the sex that holds the territory (normally females in mammals, and males in birds) disperses over shorter distances than the other sex - I've not found anything confirming this for wolves specifically, but my suspicion is that young male wolves travel further than young females.

This is because of the importance of information and learning, acquired in early life, for subsequent successful territory-holding - you need to know what resources and risks are present, where they are, and how to exploit/avoid them.

So yes - as the alphas of a wolf pack generally do most of the breeding (certainly the alpha female - there are probably some interesting genetic studies on extra-pair paternity!) inbreeding would rapidly become a problem without this built-in tendency for youngsters to head off and do their own thing.
Thanks for that, really interesting.

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:37 pm

Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:47 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:37 pm
I was thinking of this chap

http://www.roydennis.org/2019/09/01/ama ... ght-essex/

More updates here: http://www.roydennis.org/category/sea-eagle/culver/
Ah wow! Thanks epd - I hadn't seen those. Amazing to see Roy Dennis's White-tailed Eagles soaring over the landscape where I grew up.

When I first started volunteering in conservation, about 12 years ago, an Osprey reintroduction project was eyeing up some sites on the Solent. Birders and conservationists pooh-poohed the plan.

Since then, Roy Dennis has not only reintroduced Ospreys but also White-tailed Eagles, a species whose reintroduction altogether was considered preposterous by birders. He's an inspirational conservation hero who has just been plugging away at the same stuff his whole life, building long-lasting support from people like Rutland Water who could easily have said "f.ck off with your Ospreys" but have instead become valuable conservation partners.

Anyway, top graphs. Thaphs.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by mikeh » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:43 pm

I'm getting rather into the use of geospatial stuff to produce interesting research findings. This is therefore all jolly interesting.

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Stephanie » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:49 pm

I have nothing interesting to add, but this is a good thread
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:00 pm

mikeh wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:43 pm
I'm getting rather into the use of geospatial stuff to produce interesting research findings. This is therefore all jolly interesting.
I was in a workshop led by a very senior and influential ornithologist a few months ago, and I asked him for advice on writing up some birds migration research.

"Always show your results on a single, clear map."

Geospatial is the biz.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by mikeh » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:12 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:00 pm
mikeh wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:43 pm
I'm getting rather into the use of geospatial stuff to produce interesting research findings. This is therefore all jolly interesting.
I was in a workshop led by a very senior and influential ornithologist a few months ago, and I asked him for advice on writing up some birds migration research.

"Always show your results on a single, clear map."

Geospatial is the biz.
Agreed. There's a multi-thread potential in nerdy coll stuff involving maps. World leaders at my institution on that area (mostly around health, and emergency response, plus more mundane but important stuff around population densities and updating decades-old census data in DRC and Afghanistan etc).

But this wolf-stuff (nice phrase that, I may use it more often, even if its not appropriate to do so) is a new topic to me. I wonder how many wolves in each pack made up that GPS data (so whether hypothetically there were a few non-tracked wolves that would make the boundaries more blurred than they appear to be)

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:31 pm

I know that people studying wild herbivores, like deers and sheep and stuff, will tend to treat any individual captured from a single social group at representative. I have assumed they have good reasons to do so, but haven't actually checked.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:47 pm

I did check the Internet and it seems like a couple of the eagles disappeared not long after that blog 😔. People are crap.
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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by jimbob » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:54 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:37 pm
I was thinking of this chap

http://www.roydennis.org/2019/09/01/ama ... ght-essex/

More updates here: http://www.roydennis.org/category/sea-eagle/culver/
Very cool
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: GPS tracks showing wolf packs & their territories

Post by jimbob » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:09 pm

It's obviously a bit of a theme with me, given my previous thread on GPS tracks and ecology:
jimbob wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:38 pm
One of my favourite papers from 2014.

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fu ... 14)00749-0

the satellite tracks in figure 1 is beautiful
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