Although accuracy of wildlife radio-tracking systems have been measured intensively, little attention has been given to error associated with varying transmitter heights that would occur because of species size or life history (e.g. arboreal species). Our objective was to simulate the approximate transmitter height of three extensively studied game species to determine their influence on bearing accuracy. Error rates were 4-fold greater at simulated transmission heights of northern bobwhites Colinus virginianus (15 cm; –x = 24.37) and wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (46 cm; –x = 24.46) than at transmission heights of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (92 cm; –x = 6.43). Results suggest that error differences associated with transmitter height can have a dramatic influence on measures of habitat selection. We discuss the implications of variation in transmitter height on study design and its potential influence on estimated rates of error.
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Vol. 13 • No. 1