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Effects of Moose Movement and Habitat Use on GPS Collar Performance
Ron Moen, John Pastor, Yosef Cohen and Charles C. Schwartz
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 659-668
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802085
Page Count: 10
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We tested a radiotelemetry collar that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to calculate animal locations. We placed the collar in a range of cover types and compared locations reported by the collar to differentially-corrected GPS locations. We placed the collar on a free-ranging moose (Alces alces) and determined how selection of cover types, collar movement, and collar orientation affected GPS locations. On or off the moose, the GPS unit collected a location in >90% of location attempts in areas with no or thin canopy cover, including mature deciduous canopies in winter. Under a mature conifer canopy or a mature deciduous canopy in summer, 60 to 70% of location attempts were successful. Locations from the GPS unit in the collar were close to the expected precision of non-differentially corrected GPS (within 40 m 50% of the time and 100 m 95% of the time). Locations did not have a directional bias. Movement of the moose while a location was being attempted did not affect GPS locations. The moose occasionally laid down so the collar was horizontal. Although this decreased the success of location attempts, <1% of location attempts were so affected. GPS radiotelemetry has great promise for expanding our knowledge about hourly, daily, and annual patterns in animal movements and habitat selection.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1996 Wiley