The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-7
19 Sep 2014
 | 19 Sep 2014

NDVI from Landsat 8 Vegetation Indices to Study Movement Dynamics of Capra Ibex in Mountain Areas

F. Pirotti, M. A. Parraga, E. Sturaro, M. Dubbini, A. Masiero, and M. Ramanzin

Keywords: Capra ibex, Landsat 8, Vegetation indices, Ethology modelling, Pseudo invariant features

Abstract. In this study we analyse the correlation between the spatial positions of Capra ibex (mountain goat) on an hourly basis and the information obtained from vegetation indices extracted from Landsat 8 datasets. Eight individuals were tagged with a collar with a GNSS receiver and their position was recorded every hour since the beginning of 2013 till 2014 (still ongoing); a total of 16 Landsat 8 cloud-free datasets overlapped that area during that time period. All images were brought to a reference radiometric level and NDVI was calculated. To assess behaviour of animal movement, NDVI values were extracted at each position (i.e. every hour). A daily "area of influence" was calculated by spatially creating a convex hull perimeter around the 24 points relative to each day, and then applying a 120 m buffer (figure 4). In each buffer a set of 24 points was randomly chosen and NDVI values again extracted. Statistical analysis and significance testing supported the hypothesis of the pseudo-random NDVI values to be have, in average, lower values than the real NDVI values, with a p value of 0.129 for not paired t test and p value of < 0.001 for pairwise t test. This is still a first study which will go more in depth in near future by testing models to see if the animal movements in different periods of the year follow in some way the phenological stage of vegetation. Different aspects have to be accounted for, such as the behaviour of animals when not feeding (e.g. resting) and the statistical significance of daily distributions, which might be improved by analysing broader gaps of time.