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Evaluating methods for estimating home ranges using GPS collars: a comparison using proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus)

Stark, Danica, Vaughan, Ian P., Ramirez Saldivar, Diana A., Senthilvel, Nathan K. S. S. and Goossens, Benoit 2017. Evaluating methods for estimating home ranges using GPS collars: a comparison using proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus). Plos One 12 (3) , e0174891. 10.1371/journal.pone.0174891

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Abstract

The development of GPS tags for tracking wildlife has revolutionised the study of home ranges, habitat use and behaviour. Concomitantly, there have been rapid developments in methods for estimating habitat use from GPS data. In combination, these changes can cause challenges in choosing the best methods for estimating home ranges. In primatology, this issue has received little attention, as there have been few GPS collar-based studies to date. However, as advancing technology is making collaring studies more feasible, there is a need for the analysis to advance alongside the technology. Here, using a high quality GPS collaring data set from 10 proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus), we aimed to: 1) compare home range estimates from the most commonly used method in primatology, the grid-cell method, with three recent methods designed for large and/or temporally correlated GPS data sets; 2) evaluate how well these methods identify known physical barriers (e.g. rivers); and 3) test the robustness of the different methods to data containing either less frequent or random losses of GPS fixes. Biased random bridges had the best overall performance, combining a high level of agreement between the raw data and estimated utilisation distribution with a relatively low sensitivity to reduced fixed frequency or loss of data. It estimated the home range of proboscis monkeys to be 24–165 ha (mean 80.89 ha). The grid-cell method and approaches based on local convex hulls had some advantages including simplicity and excellent barrier identification, respectively, but lower overall performance. With the most suitable model, or combination of models, it is possible to understand more fully the patterns, causes, and potential consequences that disturbances could have on an animal, and accordingly be used to assist in the management and restoration of degraded landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: 16 March 2017
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 01:59
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/99592

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