COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Seminars

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22nd Ostrom Lecture: Mathematical models for carnivore territories

2003-03-12

7:30 p.m. CUE 219

Mark Lewis

Abstract: Social carnivores, such as wolves and coyotes, have distinct and well-defined home ranges. During the formation of these home ranges scent marks provide important cuesregarding the use of space by familiar and foreign packs. In this talk I will propose a set of mechanistic rules that can be used to understand the process of territorial pattern formation through interactions with scent marks.I will consider different model formulations, with and without the den site as an organizing centre for spatial movement. Under realistic assumptions the resulting territorial patterns include spontaneous formation of “buffer zones” between territories which act refuges for prey such as deer. This is supported by detailed radiotracking studies. The model will also be analysed using game theory, where the objective of each pack is to maximize its fitness by increasing intake of prey (deer) and by decreasing interactions with hostile neighboring packs.Predictions will compared with radio tracking data for wolves and coyotes.