2011 MRes projects
- The development of a backscatter X-ray system for cargo & vehicle screening
- Self-organisational behaviour patterns in crowds within the context of crime at bus stops
- Hippo Foraging and Poaching Using Agent Based Modelling
- Obstructions and Requirements for Coercion Resistance
- Using Semiconducting Metal Oxide Gas Sensors to Detect Explosives - A Feasibility Study
- Speed Up Effects in Security Procedure on Delhi Metro Rail : Implications for Queuing Theory and Rail Security
- 'Have Gun - Will Travel’: The Movement and Re-use of Firearms in England and Wales
- Time-of-Flight X-Ray Compton Scatter Imaging for Cargo Security: A Preliminary Study
- Is High Performance Liquid Chromatography Analysis a Useful Addition to Current Geo-Forensic Analytical Techniques?
- A Comparison of the Spread of Extreme Protest Behaviours Through Two Activist Networks
- On the Feasibility of Using Probably Approximately Correct Search Over BitTorrent Tracking Information
Hippo Foraging and Poaching Using Agent Based Modelling
22 March 2013
Wildlife poaching is a serious and growing problem in many developing countries. Methods to reduce poaching normally rely upon spatially referenced data collected by anti-poaching patrol units to identify ‘poaching hotspots’ areas. These space time patterns of poaching reflect the dynamic interactions of at least three sets of individuals; the animals, the poachers and those who wish to prevent poaching (i.e. the patrols). This makes wildlife poaching an interesting case study for computer simulation modelling; particularly agent based modelling, which is able to explore the dynamic non-linear mechanisms that occur between interacting heterogeneous agents within complex systems. Whilst simulation has been previously utilised to explore the effects of poaching on animal populations, there is great potential for using it to explore the mechanisms which may create these spatial and temporal poaching hotspots. As a first step, this exploratory study developed a conceptual and computational spatially-explicit agent based model of hippo foraging and trail emergence within in a natural environment using the Overview, Design, Concepts, Details (ODD) framework and Netlogo software. The key finding was that trail emergence is a highly sensitive spatial and temporal phenomenon, the formation and stability of which depend upon the complex interaction between seasonal rainfall, previous grazing pressure, and the time taken for over-grazed areas to recover from excessive trampling. The results are discussed in the context of previous research on trail formation, and there is also a discussion of the variables and data that will need to be collected in the field in order to develop more realistic and ecologically valid poaching hotspot models.