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Integrating SAS and GIS software to improve habitat-use estimates from radiotelemetry data

Kenow, K. P., Wright, R. G., Samuel, M. D., and Rasmussen, P.W., 2001, Integrating SAS and GIS software to improve habitat-use estimates from radiotelemetry data: Wildlife Society Bulletin, v. 29, no. 3, p. 1006-1009.


Radiotelemetry has been used commonly to remotely determine habitat use by a variety of wildlife species. However, habitat misclassification can occur because the true location of a radiomarked animal can only be estimated. Analytical methods that provide improved estimates of habitat use from radiotelemetry location data using a subsampling approach have been proposed previously. We developed software, based on these methods, to conduct improved habitat-use analyses. A Statistical Analysis System (SAS)-executable file generates a random subsample of points from the error distribution of an estimated animal location and formats the output into ARC/INFO-compatible coordinate and attribute files. An associated ARC/INFO Arc Macro Language (AML) creates a coverage of the random points, determines the habitat type at each random point from an existing habitat coverage, sums the number of subsample points by habitat type for each location, and outputs tile results in ASCII format. The proportion and precision of habitat types used is calculated from the subsample of points generated for each radiotelemetry location. We illustrate the method and software by analysis of radiotelemetry data for a female wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).


Geographic Information System, habitat use, misclassification error, radiotelemetry, telemetry error, availability data

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