Evaluation of satellite collar sample size requirements for mitigation of low-level military jet disturbance of the George River caribou herd
AbstractWildlife radio-telemetry and tracking projects often determine a priori required sample sizes by statistical means or default to the maximum number that can be maintained within a limited budget. After initiation of such projects, little attention is focussed on effective sample size requirements, resulting in lack of statistical power. The Department of National Defence operates a base in Labrador, Canada for low level jet fighter training activities, and maintain a sample of satellite collars on the George River caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) herd of the region for spatial avoidance mitiga¬tion purposes. We analysed existing location data, in conjunction with knowledge of life history, to develop estimates of satellite collar sample sizes required to ensure adequate mitigation of GRCH. We chose three levels of probability in each of six annual caribou seasons. Estimated number of collars required ranged from 15 to 52, 23 to 68, and 36 to 184 for 50%, 75%, and 90% probability levels, respectively, depending on season. Estimates can be used to make more informed decisions about mitigation of GRCH, and, generally, our approach provides a means to adaptively assess radio collar sam¬ple sizes for ongoing studies.
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