Mathieu Basille
Clément Calenge
Jodie Martin
Bram van Moorter
Vincent Tolon
Training courses

Vincent Tolon

Contact information

UMR CNRS 5558 - LBBE Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive
UCB Lyon 1 - Bat. Grégor Mendel
43 bd du 11 novembre 1918
69622 VILLEURBANNE cedex

Phone: +33-6-89-94-51-06


Research profile

Wild boar
© Sebastien De Danieli

I am currently working on processes and patterns of habitat selection of wildlife with the French national agency for wildlife and the lab of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology and of Alpine Ecology.

My researches aim to provide an integrative view of the habitat selection behaviour in free ranging animals, with a particular focus on theirs implications for population harvesting. I study both proximal and ultimate aspects of habitat selection patterns by investigating their behavioural mechanisms and their consequences on individual fitness (especially survival in the context of population harvesting). My works highlight the key role of animals' behaviours, as mechanisms of risk perception, movement processes, habitat selection tactics or spatial interactions with humans, to manage their populations. This integrative approach allows understanding how protected areas, that creates important variations of the landscape of risk, influence distributions, individual survivals and population dynamics of harvested populations. I aimed to integrate these findings in spatially structured models of population dynamics in order improve populations' harvesting and management around reserve networks.

West Africa giraffe
© Jean Patrick Suraud

I developed this approach on the wild boar Sus scrofa L. (see also my PhD thesis below) that causes major management troubles in Europe. This animal responds to strong hunting pressures by adaptations of life history traits (e.g. early reproduction) and of behaviours (e.g. use of refuge areas). Its management around protected areas therefore became highly problematic and necessitated important investigations of wild boar population dynamics and habitat selection behaviours.

In parallel, I contributed to understand processes and patterns of habitat selection of the endangered West Africa giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis peralta (Niger) that was nearly extinct few decades ago. While poaching was successfully eliminated as cause of giraffe mortality, habitat destruction became recently the following threat. In responses, giraffes approach more and more villages, which increases conflicts with local human populations. We used GPS and visual locations of giraffes to study how they responded spatially to the trade-off between food abundance and human disturbance.

Professional experiences


R logo

Most of my analyses are conducted on the free software R, especially with statistical packages adehabitat and sp for spatial analyses. I used this software to combined several statistical, mathematical and graphical tools, like multifactorial and survival analyses, mixed effect models and resource or step selection functions (RSF ans SSF), habitat selection and simulation of population dynamic or mapping of habitat suitability.

Teaching experience

Statistics and data analysis (144h, 2009-2011): random variables, probability laws, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, non-parametric statistics, linear regression, mean comparisons, frequency comparisons, one-way and two-ways ANOVA.
Population ecology (48h, 2009-2010): Behavioural and evolutionnary ecology, population dynamic, ecological interactions, biogeography.
Software programming (30h, 2008-2009): Data management, statistics, graphics, programing on R.
Student councelling (30h, 2008-2010): Supervision and examination of student professional projects.

Field experience

Publication list

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Tolon V., Martin J., Dray S., Loison A., Fischer C., & Baubet. E., 2012. Predator-prey spatial game as a tool to understand the effects of protected areas on harvester-wildlife interactions. Ecological Applications. [manuscript]
  2. Saïd S., Tolon V., Brandt S., & Baubet. E., 2012. Sex effect on habitat selection in response to hunting disturbance: a case of wild boar. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 58:107-115. [manuscript]
  3. Richomme C., Afonso E., Tolon V., Halos L., Alliot A., Perret C., Thomas M., Boireau, P., Ducrot C., Casabianca F., Aubert D., Villena I. & Gilot-Fromont E., 2010. Seroprevalence and factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in a Mediterranean island. Epidemiology and Infection. 138(9):1257-1266. [manuscript]
  4. Tolon V., Dray S., Loison A., Zeileis A., Fischer C. & Baubet. E., 2009. Responding to spatial and temporal variations in predation risk: space use of a game species in a changing landscape of fear. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 87(12): 1129-1137. [manuscript]

Papers in prep.

  1. Tolon V., Van Moorter B., Dray S., Loison A. & Baubet E.. Using step selection functions to measure the role of oriented and non-oriented movements in habitat selection.
  2. Tolon V., Martin J., Dray S., Brandt S. & Baubet E.. Moving in a dynamic landscape of risk: how wild boar escape unpredictable hunters.
  3. Tolon V.,Suraud J.-P., Richard E., Gaillard J.-M. & Fritz H.. Multi-scale giraffe habitat selection in a human-dominated landscape.
  4. Suraud J.-P., Richard E., Tolon V., Gaillard J.-M. & Fritz H.. Factors driving multiscale habitat use and home range size in the endangered West Africa giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta).

Book chapters

  1. Martin J., Tolon V., Van Moorter B., Basille M. & Calenge C., 2009. On the use of telemetry in habitat selection studies. In Telemetry: Research, Technology and Applications, Editors Barculo D. & Daniels J. Nova Science Publishers Inc. [manuscript]

Popularizing articles & reports

  1. Tolon V., Dray S., 2012. Les réserves naturelles attirent le gibier... et les chasseurs. Communiqué de presse du CNRS. [manuscript] - link
  2. Eyriey M. & Tolon V., 2011. Sexe, chasse et choix de l'habitat. La chasse en alsace. 103: 34-35. [manuscript]
  3. Tolon V. & Baubet E., 2010. L'effet des réserves sur l'occupation de l'espace par le sanglier. Faune Sauvage. 288: 14-18. [manuscript]
  4. Tolon V. & Baubet E., 2008. L'effet des réserves sur l'occupation de l'espace par le sanglier. Forêt Wallonne. 92: 15-25. [manuscript]
  5. Tolon V., Baubet E., Gaulard P., Pasquier J.-J., Hebeisen C., Fischer C. & Dobremez J.-F., 2007. Comportement du sanglier en réponse à la pression de chasse : Influence des « réserves » sur son occupation de l'espace. Conference proceeding - "Modalités de Gestion du Sanglier" - Reims: 172-181. [manuscript]
  6. Tolon V., 2007. L'effet réserve : chance ou problème pour la chasse. Le Chasseur Haut Savoyard. 5: 4-6.


International congresses

  1. Tolon V., Sep. 2010. Impacts of refuges on wild boar - hunters spatial interactions and wild boar mortality. Oral communication. 8th International Symposium on Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and on Sub-order Suiformes. York, England.
  2. 5th "Ecology & Behaviour" Meeting. Apr. 2009. Organisation. Lyon, France.
  3. Tolon V., Sep. 2008. Reserve effect on wild boar space use. Oral communication. 7th International Symposium on Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and on Sub-order Suiformes. Sopron, Hungary.
  4. Tolon V., Baubet E., Dray S. & Fischer C., Sep. 2007. "Reserve effect" on the space use of nocturnal mammals: the case of wild boar. Poster. 5th European Congress of Mammalogy. Siena, Italy.
  5. Tolon V., Baubet E., Dray S., Fischer C., Hebeisen C. & Dobremez J-F., Oct. 2006. Impact of hunting activities on the spatial behaviour of the wild boar: attractivity of safe areas. Poster. 6th International Symposium on Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and on Sub-order Suiformes. Kykkos, Cyprus.

Regional and local congresses

  1. Tolon V., Jan. 2008. L'effet des réserves sur l'occupation de l'espace du sanglier. Oral communication. ASBL Wildlife & Man, Wepion, Belgium.
  2. Tolon V., Jan. 2008. Comportement du sanglier en réponse à la pression de chasse. Oral communication. Congress "Modalités de Gestion du Sanglier". Reims, France.

PhD thesis

Wild boar
© S. Sachot

I completed my PhD degree in June 2010 at the University of Savoie (Lab Alpine Ecology, France) under the supervision of Dr. Anne Loison, and at the University of Lyon (Lab Biometry and Evolutionary Biology, France), under the supervision of Dr. Stephane Dray. My thesis, entitled "From habitat selection processes to prey survival in the landscape of risk — Implication for wildlife harvesting", was funded and performed in collaboration with the French national agency for wildlife under the supervision of Eric Baubet. The thesis is available here.

This work considered relationships between ultimate and proximal aspects of habitat selection strategies in the landscape of risk of a game species, the wild boar Sus scrofa L., known to be source of numerous management troubles in Europe.

Our field study relies on telemetric and GPS locations dataset recorded on wild boar living in the vicinity of a protected area of the Geneva basin (France, Switzerland), and on GPS tracking of hunting dogs. First, we showed that shifts of activity centres, in response to daily and seasonal risk variations on the whole study site, were the highest in the vicinity of the protected areas and reflected the underlying scaling structure of the landscape of risk. These shifts were detrimental to the use of food-rich forests, which confirmed the preponderance of the landscape of risk on food abundance to explain distribution patterns of highly harvested animals. Then, we showed how the increased proximity of the protected area led to the progressive dissociation of both wild boar and hunting dogs habitat selection patterns. This mismatch led to a switch of mortality from adults to younger age classes that suffered from the increased level of hunting activity close to the reserve perimeter. In parallel we studied inter-day movements of wild boar resting sites in animals living all year long over the reserve ("residents") and individuals shifting into the reserve only during open hunting season ("shifters"). We discovered that "residents" oriented their movements directly toward forests in the protected area, whereas "shifters" displayed non-oriented responses by simply increasing movements in hunted areas, suggesting a lack of perception of the reserve for these animals. We finally studied different theoretical scenarios of population dynamics through the light of above mentioned results. We showed how the use of a moderate harvesting pressure, combined with the creation of a perceptual bias of risk levels in animals, could help to restore the control of population escaping from harvesting in refuges.

[last update: 2013/10/30]