Data from: Evaluation of Argos telemetry accuracy in the High-Arctic and implications for the estimation of home-range size
Christin, Sylvain, Université du Québec à Rimouski
St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues, Université du Québec à Rimouski
Berteaux, Dominique, Université du Québec à Rimouski
Published Oct 19, 2016 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Christin, Sylvain; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues; Berteaux, Dominique (2016). Data from: Evaluation of Argos telemetry accuracy in the High-Arctic and implications for the estimation of home-range size [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bt72k
Animal tracking through Argos satellite telemetry has enormous potential to test hypotheses in animal behavior, evolutionary ecology, or conservation biology. Yet the applicability of this technique cannot be fully assessed because no clear picture exists as to the conditions influencing the accuracy of Argos locations. Latitude, type of environment, and transmitter movement are among the main candidate factors affecting accuracy. A posteriori data filtering can remove “bad” locations, but again testing is still needed to refine filters. First, we evaluate experimentally the accuracy of Argos locations in a polar terrestrial environment (Nunavut, Canada), with both static and mobile transmitters transported by humans and coupled to GPS transmitters. We report static errors among the lowest published. However, the 68th error percentiles of mobile transmitters were 1.7 to 3.8 times greater than those of static transmitters. Second, we test how different filtering methods influence the quality of Argos location datasets. Accuracy of location datasets was best improved when filtering in locations of the best classes (LC3 and 2), while the Douglas Argos filter and a homemade speed filter yielded similar performance while retaining more locations. All filters effectively reduced the 68th error percentiles. Finally, we assess how location error impacted, at six spatial scales, two common estimators of home-range size (a proxy of animal space use behavior synthetizing movements), the minimum convex polygon and the fixed kernel estimator. Location error led to a sometimes dramatic overestimation of home-range size, especially at very local scales. We conclude that Argos telemetry is appropriate to study medium-size terrestrial animals in polar environments, but recommend that location errors are always measured and evaluated against research hypotheses, and that data are always filtered before analysis. How movement speed of transmitters affects location error needs additional research.
Raw data_Christin et al_PLoS One
These datasets are the GPS and Argos locations of static and mobile tests conducted in the High-Arctic; experiments were replicated several times, and the files are organized in different folders according to the experiment type. All files are provided in csv format. More information is provided in the joined ReadMe file.