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Analysis of a model for wolf territories


 A mechanism for territorial pattern formation in wolves is analysed using a spatially explicit mathematical model which incorporates wolf movement and scent marking. Model results reflect field observations: buffer zones where wolves are scarce arise between adjacent packs and near these buffer zones there are increased levels of scent marking. It is shown how the precise behavioral response of wolves to foreign scent-marks determines the qualitative form of the spatial territories. Realistic territories in two spatial dimensions require ‘switching’ of the movement and scent marking behavior in response to foreign scent marks.

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Received 20 October 1995; received in revised form 17 May 1996

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Lewis, M., White, K. & Murray, J. Analysis of a model for wolf territories. J Math Biol 35, 749–774 (1997).

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  • Mathematical Model
  • Field Observation
  • Behavioral Response
  • Pattern Formation
  • Spatial Dimension