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Primate Biology An international open-access journal on primate research
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Volume 4, issue 2
Primate Biol., 4, 143-151, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/pb-4-143-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Primate Biol., 4, 143-151, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/pb-4-143-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 10 Jul 2017

Research article | 10 Jul 2017

Estimation of baboon daily travel distances by means of point sampling – the magnitude of underestimation

Holger Sennhenn-Reulen1,2, Langhalima Diedhiou3, Matthias Klapproth1, and Dietmar Zinner1 Holger Sennhenn-Reulen et al.
  • 1Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, German Primate Center, Leibniz-Institute for Primate Research, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Leibniz ScienceCampus “Primate Cognition”, German Primate Center/Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Direction Parc National du Niokolo-Koba, Tambacounda, Senegal

Abstract. Daily travel distance (DTD), the distance an animal moves over the course of the day, is an important metric in movement ecology. It provides data with which to test hypotheses related to energetics and behaviour, e.g. impact of group size or food distribution on DTDs. The automated tracking of movements by applying GPS technology has become widely available and easy to implement. However, due to battery duration constraints, it is necessary to select a tracking-time resolution, which inevitably introduces an underestimation of the true underlying path distance. Here we give a quantification of this inherent systematic underestimation of DTDs for a terrestrial primate, the Guinea baboon. We show that sampling protocols with interval lengths from 1 to 120min underestimate DTDs on average by 7 to 35%. For longer time intervals (i.e. 60, 90, 120min), the relative increase of deviation from the true trajectory is less pronounced than for shorter intervals. Our study provides first hints on the magnitude of error, which can be applied as a corrective when estimating absolute DTDs in calculations on travelling costs in terrestrial primates.

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