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8 February 2019 The Use of GPS Telemetry Data to Study Parturition, Den Location and Occupancy in the Brown Hyaena
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Abstract
Inferences about space use, activity and reproduction require an understanding of the behavioural processes that influence animal movements. Large volumes of movement data derived from GPS telemetry devices offer the opportunity to analyse animal behaviour on a very fine scale. GPS and satellite collars were fitted to female brown hyaenas (Parahyaenabrunnea) as part of a long-term monitoring study in southwestern Namibia. The date of parturition was determined by comparing changes in movement data and successful GPS positioning attempts. Distances moved on the day of parturition dropped to zero and frequent, unsuccessful GPS positioning attempts on the same day indicated locations in underground dens. Daily distances moved pre-partum, during parturition and post-partum differed significantly and reflected behavioural changes that can be monitored and used to draw inferences about the reproductive state of female brown hyaenas. The main predictors for den occupancy were the age of cubs, distance to closest food source and individual den. Mean occupancy over the entire denning period was 23 days, indicating that brown hyaenas readily move between dens, but individual breeding females showed den site fidelity. Therefore, GPS telemetry is a useful tool to accurately determine parturition in brown hyaenas to draw inferences about den occupancy.
Ingrid Wiesel, Sabrina Karthun-Strijbos and Inga Jänecke "The Use of GPS Telemetry Data to Study Parturition, Den Location and Occupancy in the Brown Hyaena," African Journal of Wildlife Research 49(1), (8 February 2019). https://doi.org/10.3957/056.049.0001
Received: 17 May 2018; Accepted: 30 October 2018; Published: 8 February 2019
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