Use of an adaptive kernel home-range estimator in a GIS environment to calculate habitat use

B. J. Kernohan, J. J. Millspaugh, J. A. Jenks, D. E. Naugle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Habitat use analyses have traditionally relied on telemetry relocation points as the primary source of data. Home-range estimations have generally been disregarded as a means of quantifying habitat use and availability. Seasonal habitat use of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) calculated from a home-range estimator using an adaptive kernel method was compared with relocation point data from Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota from 1 January 1993 to 27 June 1994, to determine if an adaptive kernel home-range estimator approximates traditional methods of quantifying habitat use. No differences between proportional area of seasonal home-ranges and point data were detected (P > 0.05), indicating that habitat use calculated from an adaptive kernel home-range estimate was similar to habitat use calculated from relocation points. Potential benefits of home-range estimations include consideration of radio-telemetry error, biological independence of observations, and complete utilisation distributions. Given the success of home-range estimators at quantifying habitat use, a new alternative to habitat use analysis is offered. In situations where inherent telemetry error is unavoidable, using proportional area of home-range contours to define habitat use avoids the pitfalls associated with telemetry relocation point data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Adaptive kernel
  • GIS
  • Habitat use
  • Home-range
  • Odocoileus virginianus
  • Radio telemetry
  • South Dakota
  • White-tailed deer


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