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Data from: Correcting for missing and irregular data in home-range estimation


Fleming, Christen H. et al. (2018), Data from: Correcting for missing and irregular data in home-range estimation, Dryad, Dataset,


Home-range estimation is an important application of animal tracking data that is frequently complicated by autocorrelation, sampling irregularity, and small effective sample sizes. We introduce a novel, optimal weighting method that accounts for temporal sampling bias in autocorrelated tracking data. This method corrects for irregular and missing data, such that oversampled times are downweighted and undersampled times are upweighted to minimize error in the home-range estimate. We also introduce computationally efficient algorithms that make this method feasible with large datasets. Generally speaking, there are three situations where weight optimization improves the accuracy of home-range estimates: with marine data, where the sampling schedule is highly irregular, with duty cycled data, where the sampling schedule changes during the observation period, and when a small number of home-range crossings are observed, making the beginning and end times more independent and informative than the intermediate times. Using both simulated data and empirical examples including reef manta ray, Mongolian gazelle, and African buffalo, optimal weighting is shown to reduce the error and increase the spatial resolution of home-range estimates. With a conveniently packaged and computationally efficient software implementation, this method broadens the array of datasets with which accurate space-use assessments can be made.

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