Comprehensive Examination at CES on 23 August 2017 at 2:00 pm titled "Collective behaviour of blackbuck herds" by Aakanksha from CES, IISc
Animal groups show striking patterns in their structure and movement. Sometimes, these patterns also have functional consequences, such as V formation in bird flocks aiding in group navigation efficiency. Emergent group behaviour is often not a direct sum of individual level behaviour, instead it is a consequence of interactions among individuals. Understanding such patterns at the group level might help us unravel individual response to changes in environment or disturbance. However, very few empirical studies have recorded such fine-scale interactions in the wild. One reason for the dearth of studies from the wild might be the difficulty in capturing multiple spatial interactions at a single time instant. Recent advancement in aerial imagery techniques allows us to observe and record such interactions.
We are studying spatial dynamics of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) herds using high resolution aerial imagery . The data collection for the study was done at Blackbuck National Park, Gujarat, India. We have captured blackbuck herd movement and interactions in 15-min long videos.
Main objectives of our study are :
1. To examine the effect of habitat and inter-individual heterogeneity on group structure and movement dynamics
2. To understand leadership and merge-split dynamics in groups during external perturbations ( a proxy for understanding group dynamics in predation or threat scenarios)
We plan to understand group movement decisions by analysing data from these videos.