Colorado State University
Battle, David C.
Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.
Degree: MS(M.S.), Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, 2016, Colorado State University
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), which is a combined United States Army/Air Force installation, and neighboring Anchorage, Alaska, support a population of moose Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758) that inhabit a fragmented landscape of habitat types interspersed with human development. Because development plans in support of the military mission may have significant impacts on moose movement in the area, JBER and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) biologists began a study of moose habitat use and behavior on JBER. In order to help identify behaviors in wild radio-collared moose captured on JBER, we tested Telonics tri-axial accelerometers for accuracy in the detection of activity and the identification of behaviors in radio-collared moose. Direct observations of three captive animals fitted with radio collars containing accelerometers allowed us to calibrate activity readings to observed behaviors. We developed four datasets in order to test whether readings from this type of accelerometer could identify specific behaviors (browsing, grazing, walking, standing, lying), behavior categories (feeding, traveling, resting), or simply when moose were active or inactive. Multiple threshold criteria were tested in order to maximize correlation to observed behaviors. The highest overall accuracy was achieved when using threshold criteria to characterize behaviors as active (92.29% accuracy) or inactive (90.64% accuracy). A Fisher’s Exact Test indicated that there was no significant difference between observed behaviors and those correctly classified using threshold criteria for either active (p = .9728) or inactive (p = .9431) behaviors, indicating that our threshold criteria is correctly classifying these behaviors. In the next phase of this study, we collected 244,957 GPS locations from 18 female moose captured on JBER and fitted with GPS collars equipped with the same model tri-axial accelerometer used in the captive trials. Data from the accelerometers were used to characterize moose behavior as active or inactive. GPS locations, along with behavior patterns and movement characteristics, were used to rank JBER habitat types. Turning angle and speed were calculated between successive locations for each animal across the animal’s home range. Values were pooled for all animals and used to assess movement characteristics by season and habitat type. The highest velocity recorded for a 60 minute period was 1.50 m/s (5.40 kph), and 99.50% of all steps had velocities < 0.26 m/s (0.94 kph). Turning angle groups did not vary among either habitat types (p = 1.00) or seasons (p = 0.99). A new, intuitive home range estimation method, Dynamic Potential Path Area (dynPPA), was used to incorporate behavioral states into the delineation of animal home ranges. We delineated dynPPA home ranges by season for each moose, and used this technique in combination with Jacobs Index (which measures utilization in relation to availability) to determine habitat preference. Seasonal dynPPA home range sizes averaged 15.28 km2 in…
Advisors/Committee Members: Rittenhouse, Larry (advisor), Farley, Sean (advisor), Meiman, Paul (committee member), Peel, Kraig (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: alces; habitat use; moose; dynamic potential path area; Alaska; Jacob's Index
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Battle, D. C. (2016). Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. (Masters Thesis). Colorado State University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10217/173501
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Battle, David C. “Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.” 2016. Masters Thesis, Colorado State University. Accessed April 11, 2021.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Battle, David C. “Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.” 2016. Web. 11 Apr 2021.
Battle DC. Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Colorado State University; 2016. [cited 2021 Apr 11].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10217/173501.
Council of Science Editors:
Battle DC. Movement patterns, behavior, and habitat use of female moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. [Masters Thesis]. Colorado State University; 2016. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10217/173501