AniMove - Animal Movements: A collaborative project

The analysis of animal movement and ranging behaviour (including the estimation of home range size) is a complex issue. A number of programs have been written (see this web site for an obsolete and incomplete list), but all suffer from one or several limitations, including:

  • limited customizability (for ad hoc analyses, change of calculation methods, etc.)
  • undocumented calculation methods (crucial especially for kernel analyses)
  • limited or no interaction with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • the need to purchase proprietary, expensive software

We believe the problem could be solved by the use of several free and open source programs, available both for GNU/Linux, Mac OSX and MS Windows operating systems. We aim at producing the most advanced software; our indicative term of reference is Animal Movements (which requires the expensive, obsolete, and proprietary ArcView + Spatial Analyst proprietary packages).

All resulting software is and will be freely available (under GPL or similar licences).

One of the approaches used involves the use of the statistical package R and its extension AdeHabitat by Clément Calenge.

Another approach is to use plain QGIS to run many useful analyses (e.g. basic statistics, Minimum Convex Polygon). Fom more advanced analyses, we have developed some ad hoc plugins.

Developing python plugins for QGIS is easy, cheap, and fast. Our aim is to have a toolbox in which anybody can add her/his own preferred analyses.

AniMove for QGIS

Developers: Víctor González, Jorge Arevalo , Francesco Boccacci, Alexander Bruy

It implements kernel analyses and restricted MCP in Pure Python, without the need to install R and its libraries. Since version 1.4.0 the plugin adds new functionalities:

  • A porting to the Processing toolbox of the “RandomHR” plugin (Randomization of home ranges within a study area, see http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/randomHR/) that was previously available for QGIS 1.x but not for 2.x, see below.
  • A new tool called “Random path” that allows to randomize paths (lines) within a study area and with many options: keep angles, randomize angles (range as user choice), randomize starting points, keep starting points, use a point layer for starting points, check if the random path crosses features of a specified line/polygon layer.

The plugin is available through the QGIS official repository.

RandomHR

Developer: Borys Jurgiel

Given a series of polygons (home ranges) and a containing polygon (the study area), throws the polygons randomly many times (N chosen by the user) and calculates the average overlap between them.

A few notes:

  • if a HR is a multipolygon, it is rotated and moved as a whole
  • for very small ranges, rounding errors may cause problem; however, this is insignificant for any animal with home ranges larger then 10 m2

The plugin is available through the QGIS official repository.

Please note: the plugin works on QGIS 1.8, not on 2.0. If you are interested in upgrading it, please contact us.

Triangulation

Developer: Borys Jurgiel

It calculates the position of an animal from its bearings.

The plugin is available through the QGIS official repository.

More

You’re welcome to add your most needed plugin, either by writing it on your own, by hiring a programmer, or by donating to the project. AniMove and ​Faunalia can help you.

Join the group!

AniMove lives thanks to the efforts of many people, which contributed through time. Your help would therefore be much appreciated. This could be a suitable project for a MSc thesis. You can collaborate by testing the software, writing manuals and other. Please subscribe to the mailing list or write us (info@faunalia.eu) if you are interested.

Faunalia provides ongoing support to the project