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Influence of Sampling Interval on Estimates of Home-Range Size

Robert K. Swihart and Norman A. Slade
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Oct., 1985), pp. 1019-1025
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801388
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801388
Page Count: 7
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Influence of Sampling Interval on Estimates of Home-Range Size
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Abstract

Accurate estimation of home-range size often requires large numbers of observations. Radiotelemetry and direct observation are capable of yielding large sample sizes in a short period of time, but observations collected using a short sampling interval often are autocorrelated (i.e., not independent). We examined the effect of autocorrelation on six measures of home range and found that positive autocorrelation resulted in underestimation of home-range size. In long-term studies of movement, sampling intervals should be chosen so that autocorrelation between successive observations is negligible. If home-range estimates must be obtained in a relatively short period of time, collection of autocorrelated data may be unavoidable; under these circumstances nonstatistical measures of home-range size are more appropriate than statistical measures.

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