Purcell, B. V., Mulley, R. C., Close, R., & Fleming, P. J. (2006). Use of GPS collars for tracking wild dogs.
The recent development of collar-mounted Global Positioning System (GPS) loggers has revolutionised home range size estimation, animal movement behaviour studies and the determination of home range use. These devices are now small enough to be used on wild dogs and similarly sized mammals. In this study, six wild dingo X dog hybrids were trapped and fitted with GPS telemetry collars to observe patterns in monthly and annual movements within the core of the Southern Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, New South Wales Australia. GPS collars were very successful at gaining numerous points, far more than could have been recovered by ground-based radiotelemetry. Two of the six collars recorded 14 months (2302 points) and 12 months (2060 points) respectively; two recorded four and a half months (837 and 808 points) from different sites before collar malfunction ended sampling; and two collars are still to be retrieved. Minimum Convex Polygons (MCP) and Kernel estimators were used to show home range sizes for one year. Using the MCP estimator, long-term collars recorded maximum home range size for an adult male and juvenile female of 418.9 and 69.3 km² respectively. Short-term collars displayed maximum home range for juvenile male and juvenile female of 62.3 and 18 km² respectively. The benefits and disadvantages of GPS technology are discussed with reference to three myths about wild dingo X dog hybrids and their movements.