Monitoring a population of white rhino

Some years ago we worked at Otjiwa in Namibia, using footprints to monitor a population of white rhino. We published a paper on this population in 2008. Subsequently we thought it would be interesting to look at shape analysis as another way of demonstrating real differences in the feet of these rhino. Our paper with mathematician colleague Peter Law is just out in the Wildlife Society Bulletin – and demonstrates that variation between rhino footprints can also be described using shape analysis.

rhino footprintLaw, P.R., Jewell, Z.C. & Alibhai, S.K. Using Shape and Size to Quantify Variation in Footprints for Individual Identification: Case Study with White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Wildlife Society Bulletin 37(2):433–438; 2013; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.250