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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X


LAWRENCE-APFEL, Kirstin; MEYER, Thomas H; ARIFUZZAMAN, Kazi  and  ORTEGA, Isaac M. An accuracy assessment of global navigation wildlife-tracking collars in the southern clilean Patagonia. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp.105-113. ISSN 0718-686X.

The accuracies of three different global navigation satellite system (GNSS) wildlife-tracking collars were assessed in Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Patagonia, Chile by comparing collar-derived positions against high-accuracy control coordinates. We established control coordinates using dual-frequency, carrier-phase observing GNSS receivers and then compared these high-accuracy positions with the relatively low-accuracy, single-frequency, code-only wildlife-tracking collar positions in two scenarios: (i) stationary testing: three different manufacturers’ collars were assessed on permanent control markers, and (ii) roving testing: one manufacturer’s collar was assessed throughout Torres del Paine National Park in places wildlife might take the collar, including three habitats with increasing sky-obstructing topography and tree canopy. The static results show that, even under ideal conditions, there are statistically significant differences in mean positional accuracy among the collars, but these differences are small compared to the size of the home ranges of the types of animals that would be ftted with a collar. The roving assessment showed that, under open sky, the average errors were consistent with the manufacturer’s claims, but mean-error distances and fx failures (failure to collect a scheduled position) increased with increasing sky obstruction.

Keywords : Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS); Torres del Paine National Park; GPS accuracy assessment; GPS wildlife tracking collars.

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