Geographic profiling and animal foraging

S. C. Le Comber, B. Nicholls, D. K. Rossmo, Paul Adrian Racey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    Geographic profiling was originally developed as a statistical tool for use in criminal cases, particularly those involving serial killers and rapists. It is designed to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects by using the location of crime scenes to identify the areas in which the criminal is most likely to live. Two important concepts are the buffer zone (criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the immediate vicinity of their home) and distance decay (criminals commit fewer crimes as the distance from their home increases). In this study, we show how the techniques of geographic profiling may be applied to animal data, using as an example foraging patterns in two sympatric colonies of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus, in the northeast of Scotland. We show that if model variables are fitted to known roost locations, these variables may be used as numerical descriptors of foraging patterns. We go on to show that these variables can be used to differentiate patterns of foraging in these two species. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-240
    Number of pages7
    JournalTheoretical Population Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • buffer zone
    • chiroptera
    • distance decay
    • nest
    • roost
    • ROOST


    Dive into the research topics of 'Geographic profiling and animal foraging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this