Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Mathematics and Statistics Dept.


Jan Holly


This paper proposes a model based upon Brownian motion that can be used to describe gray wolf movement as observed in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. It also shows how Brownian motion relates to Partial Differential Equations, and shows how the latter, too, can be used as a tool to model wolf movement. Information on wolf locations was obtained from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the form of weekly reports; it was then organized and mapped. The model draws upon biological information about how wolf movement differs seasonally, as well as research, which describes how packs in the aforementioned areas have behaved in the past. The model is not deterministic and in order to be best utilized must be applied numerous times, in order to assign different results a statistical probability. The model is best viewed as a suggested starting point for someone with a significant amount of data, who is interested in more accurately predicting different aspects of wolf behavior.


Full-text download restricted to Colby College campus only.


Brownian Motion, PDE, animal movement, gray wolf