University of Maine / GNU Landscapes
Robin Reid & Randy Boone
Colorado State University
School of Forest Resources
We are using hourly GPS tracking of wildebeest, along with Bayesian Belief Network models of land use change, to understand how migratory wildlife will react and adapt to changing land uses and climate change.
Agent-based modeling of wildebeest, alternative futures modeling using Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN).
CSU and UMaine, as well as the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, and the Kenya Wildlife Authority.
Primary motivators include Robin Reid (formerly of ILRI and now with CSU), Randy Boone (CSU), Rob Lilieholm (UMaine) and others. Also important was a $680,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
We are working in one of the most significant ecosystems in the world – Kenya’s Nairobi National Park and surrounding areas – to understand how development and migratory behavior interact across the landscape. Our goal is to facilitate meaningful change in land use policies that will allow for continued migration of important wildlife species.
Our models are bringing a new perspective to landscape-level conservation issues. Kenya has a window of opportunity to enact land use policies that can protect migratory species, and in doing so support the country’s important ecotourism sector.
Our agent-based models of animal migration, coupled with a BBN-approach to stakeholder-derived land suitability models and futures scenarios, has application worldwide.
Nairobi National Park is likely at a threshold wrt development and the sustainability of wildebeest and other migratory wildlife. Regardless of what happens there, the lessons learned from our research will have application in other less-impacted areas of East Africa and beyond.
We have several graduate students in the U.S. and Kenya working on the project.