Let the analyses begin!

Truth be told, I *have* been working on data analysis from the start. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of research — piecing together the story from all the different puzzle pieces that have been collected over the years.

But right now I am knee-deep in taking a closer look at the camera trap data. Since we have *so* many cameras taking pictures every day I want to look at where the animals are not just overall, but from day to day, hour to hour. I’m not 100% sure what analytical approaches are out there, but my first step is to simply visualize the data. What does it look like?

So I’ve started making animations within the statistical programming software R. Here’s one of my first ones (stay tuned over the holidays for more). Each frame represents a different hour on the 24 hour clock: 0 is midnight, 12 is noon, 23 is 11pm, etc. Each dot is sized proportionally to the number of captures of that species at that site at that time of day. The dots are set to be a little transparent so you can see when sites are hotspots for multiple species. [*note: if the .gif isn’t animating for you in the blog, try clicking on it so it opens in a new tab.]

hourlytestIt’s pretty clear that there are a handful of “naptime hotspots” on the plains. You can bet your boots that those are nice shady trees in the middle of nowhere that the lions really love.


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About ali swanson

I'm an ecologist studying how large carnivores coexist. I spend way too much of my time trying to stop hyenas and elephants from munching my camera traps!

2 responses to “Let the analyses begin!”

  1. Tor Bertin says :

    Love data visualizations.

    One thing that caught my eye: there’s a station in the middle left with a very large number of leopard captures at 8:00 A.M., immediately followed by a large number of hyena captures at 9:00 A.M.

    In fact, it looks like leopard captures almost drop off entirely once the sea of blue and red appears. May be some avoidance behavior going on!

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  1. Analyses galore | Snapshot Serengeti - December 2, 2013

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