Mammal Research

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 333–341

Optimal radio-tracking strategy — The best results with the least effort?

  • Kaarina Kauhala
  • Katja Holmala


We tested the need to radio-track nocturnal mammals, such as raccoon dogsNyctereutes procyonoides (Gray, 1834) and badgersMeles meles (Linnaeus, 1758), throughout the night for reliable estimates of home range size and habitat selection. We also tested the possibility to reduce the tracking effort by decreasing the number of tracking-nights. The results indicated that the locations collected before midnight gave good estimates of home range sizes but those collected after midnight or by reducing the number of tracking-nights resulted in smaller home ranges than those estimated using the total data. Thus, if one aims to estimate only the home range size, locations before midnight would be adequate. Locations of raccoon dogs taken only before or after midnight did not reveal all habitats, which were favoured on the basis of the total data. Although locations of badgers before midnight seemed to give correct results of habitat selection, we recommend radio-tracking also badgers at least few times through the night, because their core areas shifted during the night. In the case of badgers, but not of raccoon dogs, we obtained correct results of habitat selection by reducing the tracking effort by decreasing the number of tracking-nights.

Key words

Meles meles Nyctereutes procyonoides radio-tracking home range habitat selection 


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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaarina Kauhala
    • 1
  • Katja Holmala
    • 2
  1. 1.Finnish Game and Fisheries Research InstituteTurkuFinland
  2. 2.VantaaFinland

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