U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Pages 249-268 in Krejcar, Ondrej, editor. Modern Telemetry. InTech Open Access Publisher. http://www.intechopen.com/books/show/title/modern-telemetry.


The formal concept of an animal’s home range, or derivations thereof, has been around for over half a century (Burt 1943). Within this time frame there have been countless published studies reporting home range estimators with no consensus for any single technique (Withey et al., 2001; Laver & Kelly 2008). Recent advances in global positioning system (GPS) technology for monitoring home range and movements of wildlife have resulted in locations that are numerous, more precise than very high frequency (VHF) systems, and often are auto correlated in space and time. Along with these advances, researchers are challenged with understanding the proper methods to assess size of home range or migratory movements of various species. The most acceptable method of home-range analysis with uncorrelated locations, kernel-density estimation (KDE), has been lauded by some for use with GPS technology (Kie et al., 2010) while criticized by others for errors in proper bandwidth selection (Hemson et al., 2005) and violation of independence assumptions (Swihart & Slade 1985b). The issue of autocorrelation or independence in location data has been dissected repeatedly by users of KDE for decades (Swihart & Slade 1985a; Worton 1995, but see Fieberg 2007) and can be especially problematic with data collected with GPS technology.