Permissible Home Range Estimation (PHRE) in restricted habitats: A new algorithm and an evaluation for sea otters

PLoS ONE
USFWS
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Abstract

Parametric and nonparametric kernel methods dominate studies of animal home ranges and space use. Most existing methods are unable to incorporate information about the underlying physical environment, leading to poor performance in excluding areas that are not used. Using radio-telemetry data from sea otters, we developed and evaluated a new algorithm for estimating home ranges (hereafter Permissible Home Range Estimation, or “PHRE”) that reflects habitat suitability. We began by transforming sighting locations into relevant landscape features (for sea otters, coastal position and distance from shore). Then, we generated a bivariate kernel probability density function in landscape space and back-transformed this to geographic space in order to define a permissible home range. Compared to two commonly used home range estimation methods, kernel densities and local convex hulls, PHRE better excluded unused areas and required a smaller sample size. Our PHRE method is applicable to species whose ranges are restricted by complex physical boundaries or environmental gradients and will improve understanding of habitat-use requirements and, ultimately, aid in conservation efforts.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Permissible Home Range Estimation (PHRE) in restricted habitats: A new algorithm and an evaluation for sea otters
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0150547
Volume 11
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Public Library of Science
Publisher location San Francisco, CA
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 20 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title PLoS ONE
First page e0150547
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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