Eurodeer is a scientific network for data and knowledge sharing on wild roe deer populations.
I was honoured to give a keynote talk on Social Network Analysis to a group of conservation biologists and others working in the area of monitoring and researching wild animal movements. People from 33 different research centres and environmental institutes come together once a year to work on projects (“pagers”) and to establish data sharing mechanisms and write papers. There is an appetite to do more social network analysis, which is where I fit in. In the first instance I will collaborate on a single paper analysing deer movement patterns and social network behaviours in reaction to the establishment of feeding stations. Telemetry and other data will be collated from a range of terrain, climate, and vegetation scenarios. The aim of the project is to apply Social Network Analysis techniques to ascertain how human provided feeding stations influence the movements and social interactions of wild deer and to summarise, compare, and contrast the datasets from different collection sites. Approaches may include network visualisations, stochastic blockmodelling, role analysis, latent space models, and more. Results will allow researchers to predict how and why feeding stations effect wild deer populations and ultimately inform conservation efforts.