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Iverson, Sara J.

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Iverson
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Sara J.
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    Data from: A novel approach to quantifying the spatiotemporal behavior of instrumented grey seals used to sample the environment
    (2015-09-15) Lidgard, Damian C.; Bowen, W. Don; Iverson, Sara J.
    Background: Paired with satellite location telemetry, animal-borne instruments can collect spatiotemporal data describing the animal’s movement and environment at a scale relevant to its behavior. Ecologists have developed methods for identifying the area(s) used by an animal (e.g., home range) and those used most intensely (utilization distribution) based on location data. However, few have extended these models beyond their traditional roles as descriptive 2D summaries of point data. Here we demonstrate how the home range method, T-LoCoH, can be expanded to quantify collective sampling coverage by multiple instrumented animals using grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) equipped with GPS tags and acoustic transceivers on the Scotian Shelf (Atlantic Canada) as a case study. At the individual level, we illustrate how time and space-use metrics quantifying individual sampling coverage may be used to determine the rate of acoustic transmissions received. Results: Grey seals collectively sampled an area of 11,308 km 2 and intensely sampled an area of 31 km 2 from June-December. The largest area sampled was in July (2094.56 km 2 ) and the smallest area sampled occurred in August (1259.80 km 2 ), with changes in sampling coverage observed through time. Conclusions: T-LoCoH provides an effective means to quantify changes in collective sampling effort by multiple instrumented animals and to compare these changes across time. We also illustrate how time and space-use metrics of individual instrumented seal movement calculated using T-LoCoH can be used to account for differences in the amount of time a bioprobe (biological sampling platform) spends in an area.