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A cross-validation-based approach for delimiting reliable home range estimates.

Abstract

Here we present a cross-validation-based approach for selecting parameter values to optimize the T-LoCoH algorithm. We demonstrate the utility of the approach using a case study from the Etosha National Park anthrax system.

With decreasing costs of GPS telemetry devices, data repositories of animal movement paths are increasing almost exponentially in size. A series of complex statistical tools have been developed in conjunction with this increase in data. Each of these methods offers certain improvements over previously proposed methods, but each has certain assumptions or shortcomings that make its general application difficult. In the case of the recently developed Time Local Convex Hull (T-LoCoH) method, the subjectivity in parameter selection serves as one of the primary impediments to its more widespread use. While there are certain advantages to the flexibility it offers for question-driven research, the lack of an objective approach for parameter selection may prevent some users from exploring the benefits of the method.

Due to its basis in principles of cross-validation, the application of this method offers a more objective approach than the relatively subjective guidelines set forth in the T-LoCoH documentation and enables a more accurate basis for the comparison of home ranges among individuals and species, as well as among studies.

Utilizing the proposed algorithm, rather than the guidelines in the T-LoCoH documentation, results in significantly different values for derived site fidelity metrics.

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