ESR 4:113-122 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00068

Harbour seal spatial distribution estimated from Argos satellite telemetry: overcoming positioning errors

Jakob Tougaard1,*, Jonas Teilmann1, Svend Tougaard2

1National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Tarphagevej 2, 6710 Esbjerg V, Denmark
*Email:

ABSTRACT: A limiting factor of satellite telemetry in the context of habitat use by marine mammals is the low accuracy of the received positions. A novel statistical analysis to overcome the low accuracy was developed in the context of processing data on harbour seals Phoca vitulina for the atlas of Danish mammals. Ten harbour seals were caught in the Danish Wadden Sea and tracked with satellite transmitters. The statistical analysis reversed the problem of positioning: Instead of attempting to correctly assign each individual position to a single grid cell, our approach considers the combined probability that at least one position originated in each grid cell. Thus, all satellite-derived positions, including positions of poor precision, can contribute to the evaluation. The method is an alternative to other methods describing spatial use, such as kernel home range, and constitutes a viable approach for inclusion of satellite-derived positional data into spatial modeling of animal distribution and habitat use.


KEY WORDS: Service Argos · Positioning accuracy · Grid survey · Abundance · Kernel home range · Phoca vitulina · North Sea · Spatial modelling


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Tougaard J, Teilmann J, Tougaard S (2008) Harbour seal spatial distribution estimated from Argos satellite telemetry: overcoming positioning errors. Endang Species Res 4:113-122. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00068

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -