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Mississippi State University

Field Research

Telemetry


Radio-collared animals were monitored using a portable receiver and a 3-element Yagi antenna. We determined animal locations using triangulation from permanent telemetry stations (n = 480) >2 times/week. In most instances, distance from observer to any animal was <1.0-km. We used 2 telemetry techniques to monitor radio-collored animals: systematic point and sequential locations. We obtained systematic point locations by recording 2 locations weekly for each animal. For this technique, we would simply record a single triangulated location on each animal across the study area, usually during the same day. We conducted sequential telemetry (focal runs) on a 4-hr basis with a location recorded on each animal every hour for the entire 4-hr period. Focal runs were conducted on "groups" of animals within a specified part of study area. For instance, we divided all animals into 8 focal groups (4-20 animals/group) and conducted> 2 focal runs/week on each group. Azimuths for a single radio location were recorded within a 15 minute interval to reduce error due to animal movement. Triangulation angles were maintained between 45 and 135 to reduce error. To determine activity, we either used motion-sensitive radio-collars or monitored signal pulse for 10 seconds prior to recording azimuths. Activity data were recorded as (1) active for signal intensity change and pulse fluctuation or (0) for inactivity (no change in signal intensity or change in motion switch). Telemetry accuracy for a single bearing averaged + 7.9 across the study.