The degree of space-use overlap among adjacent individuals is a central focus of many wildlife investigations. We studied the comparability of minimum convex polygon and fixed-kernel home-range overlap indices and Volume of Intersection (VI) scores using simulated data. We simulated pairs of point patterns to represent telemetry locations of adjacent individuals and varied the amount of potential overlap in the simulation region (100%, 50%, and 10%) and the point distribution (random, loosely clumped, and tightly clumped). We created 1,000 pairs of point sets (60 points in each individual set) for each of the 9 potential overlap and point distribution combinations. In all 9 treatment combinations, VI scores were highest followed by kernel and then polygon estimates. Raw differences among estimates within a treatment were greatest when there was 50% potential overlap, and overlap indices decreased as the degree of clumping increased. The relative differences among overlap indices within a treatment were affected most by potential overlap; differences generally were greatest at 10% and least at 100%. Correlation between index values was lowest for random point patterns, and highest for loosely clumped and tightly clumped point patterns. Although the VI tended to indicate the most overlap and minimum convex polygon the least, there was no consistent correction factor among techniques because of the interacting effects of the overlap index, distribution pattern, and potential overlap. Interpretation of overlap measures requires careful consideration of assumptions and properties of animals under study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Home-range overlap
  • Kernel
  • Minimum convex polygon
  • Simulation
  • Space-use sharing
  • Volume of intersection


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