A heterogeneous environment includes several levels of resource aggregation. Individuals do not respond to this heterogeneity in the same way and their responses depend on the scale at which they perceive it, and they develop different foraging tactics accordingly. The development of methods to analyse animal movements has enabled the study of foraging tactics at several scales. Nevertheless, applied to large vertebrates, these methods have generally been used at large scales, such as for migration trips or for the study of marine patches several kilometres large. In our study, we applied a recent method, the First-Passage Time analysis, based on a measure of the foraging effort along the path, to a much finer scale, i.e. <500 m. We used 30 daily paths of highly sedentary roe deer Capreolus capreolus females. We modified the initial method, developed by Fauchald & Tveraa (2003), to detect a multi-patch use of the habitat. First-Passage Time analysis results showed that most of the female roe deer exploited their home range as a patchy resource, ranging within 1–5 areas of intensive use in their home range. These areas were identified as the most attractive sites within the roe deer female home range. Moreover, this method allowed us to rank the attractive areas according to the time spent in each area. Coupled with habitat selection analysis to identify what makes these areas attractive, the First-Passage Time analysis should offer a suitable tool for landscape ecology and management.
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