New technology to track animal distribution

New technology to track animal distribution scientists at the University of California at Berkeley, usa, have developed a new method of monitoring animal range sizes and distribution. The study, published online in PLoS One, analyses data from the latest global positioning systems (gps) technologies through a computational model to produce an effective map of an animal's homeland.

Precise plot Past techniques are based on parametric distributions to predict where in space and time an individual is likely to be. The latest technique, called local convex hull LoCoH, is non-parametric and produces a much more precise plot.

"Our methods are much better at identifying objects such as rivers, cliff edges, lakes and rocky areas that either define the boundaries of an animal's home range or represents areas within an animal's home range that the animal avoids or cannot use,' says Wayne Getz, the lead author. Besides, with significant advances of modern technologies, tracking systems can provide detailed information on an individual's movement, which is where this new analysis will really come into its own.

"The superiority of our methods becomes more evident as data quality improves

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