Vicky Boult

Modelling elephant behaviour using satellite data to measure food availability



  • Richard Sibly – SBS, University of Reading
  • Tristan Quaife – Meteorology, University of Reading
  • Phyllis Lee – University of Stirling and
    Scientific Director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project


Start date:

  • October 2015


The ranging behaviour and demographic rates of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are largely governed by the availability of their food. Feeding behaviours are well documented, and thus, with a knowledge of spatially and temporally explicit food availability within an ecosystem, the distribution and demographics of elephants should be somewhat predictable.

Information on food availability will be obtained using remote sensing technology. Elephants will be modelled on an individual basis in Netlogo in order to better understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between elephant behaviours and food availability. Improved understanding will aid in the management of elephants under projected change scenarios.