1 Tahrcountry Musings: GPS telemetry is biased against small prey

Saturday, January 07, 2012

GPS telemetry is biased against small prey

Do GPS clusters really work? Carnivore diet from scat analysis and GPS telemetry methods
Michelle M. Bacon, Greg M. Becic, Mark T. Epp and Mark S. Boyce

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 409–415, December 2011

Global Positioning System (GPS) in combination with radiocollars are invaluable tools for researchers to identify sites where predators have killed prey. This modern method has yet to be compared with traditional scat analysis. Here the researchers are attempting a comparison.

 The researchers analyzed 211 scat samples and compared composition of prey items with 266 kill sites found using GPS radiotelemetry data on cougars (Puma concolor) in the Cypress Hills of southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, Canada. 

Scat samples were better able to detect small mammals. When it comes to big prey species both methods estimated nearly identical biomass consumed.

The research clearly demonstrated that GPS telemetry is biased against small prey but the method provides results comparable to scat analysis for larger prey that make up the majority of biomass consumed by cougars.

1 comment:

THJ said...

Glad that you have started posting again. Ramesh told me that you were contemplating discontinuing the blog. Don't do that. If you have difficulty with time post once a week at least.