The home-range concept: Are traditional estimators still relevant with modern telemetry technology?

John G. Kie, Jason Matthiopoulos, John Fieberg, Roger A. Powell, Francesca Cagnacci, Michael S. Mitchell, Jean Michel Gaillard, Paul R. Moorcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

295 Scopus citations


Recent advances in animal tracking and telemetry technology have allowed the collection of location data at an ever-increasing rate and accuracy, and these advances have been accompanied by the development of new methods of data analysis for portraying space use, home ranges and utilization distributions. New statistical approaches include data-intensive techniques such as kriging and nonlinear generalized regression models for habitat use. In addition, mechanistic home-range models, derived from models of animal movement behaviour, promise to offer new insights into how home ranges emerge as the result of specific patterns of movements by individuals in response to their environment. Traditional methods such as kernel density estimators are likely to remain popular because of their ease of use. Large datasets make it possible to apply these methods over relatively short periods of time such as weeks or months, and these estimates may be analysed using mixed effects models, offering another approach to studying temporal variation in space-use patterns. Although new technologies open new avenues in ecological research, our knowledge of why animals use space in the ways we observe will only advance by researchers using these new technologies and asking new and innovative questions about the empirical patterns they observe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2221-2231
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1550
StatePublished - Jul 27 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • GPS
  • Home ranges
  • Mechanistic models
  • Space use
  • Telemetry
  • Utilization distributions

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