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I am working on a project (a tool) for my GIS class that models natural habitat of an animal based on landcovers, distance to the nearest watersource and distance from developed area in Kansas, USA. I need these numerical values for at least a couple of animal species (larger herbivores that can occur in Kansas) so the user can enter these values and visualize the natural habitat.

Now, I know it is very difficult to determine such values (and modeling natural habitat is much much more complex than this) but these values don't need to be very accurate as it aims at showing the capabilities of the GIS software rather then producing real-world output (again, its a school project).

I've contacted a professor at the Department of Biology but she only provided me with tons of over-detailed information and links to scientific research which are of no use for me.

For example: a deer goes to drink water twice a day and doesn't move more than 10 miles a day -> it is most likely to occur within 5 miles from a water source. I know it is a crude simplification but it really doesn't matter in this case.

Is there a source of such information?

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    $\begingroup$ I am pretty confident you won't find a source that has the data you want in a nice table format - you will have to extract the information from scientific literature gathered for other purposes. I'd suggest searches on scholar.google.com for specific species you want to track, and pairing that species with some other terms of interest. For example, "white tailed deer GPS" might turn up some papers relevant to you (I tried this search and several seem applicable). Like you say, you don't need precise data, but you can make some estimates from these types of sources. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 5 '17 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ Also note: it seems like there is a lot of GIS work with white tailed deer in particular, so you can even just search for "white tailed deer GIS" and maybe add in other keywords that are relevant to you like "water." I'd also suggest you go back over the work provided by the professor you talked to: I very much doubt she was steering you wrong, probably the information she provided is very useful, you just need to apply some search strategies within that information to extract what you need. That is an essential skill to have and probably more important than 95% of your coursework. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 5 '17 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ You might be better off looking for gps tracking data and pulling the relevant information out of it. $\endgroup$ – John May 5 '17 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ \You are not going to find a lot of what you are looking for, generalizations like that are not often published together. As Bryan mentioned you need to search the sources you have in detail, statements like that are not going to be prominent but will be dispersed as minor details in many many studies. You will have to compile them. worse these will rarely be consistent animals change behavior depending on the conditions. You will also have to become very familiar with the terminology involved. $\endgroup$ – John May 5 '17 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ This kind of study is what you are looking for, academic.oup.com/jmammal/article/96/2/279/900871/… $\endgroup$ – John May 5 '17 at 20:59

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