Improving Estimation of Flight Altitude: A Commentary

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Altitude measurements from wildlife tracking devices, combined with elevation data, commonly are used to estimate the flight altitude of birds. However, these data include measurement error and understanding that error may improve estimation of flight altitude and benefit applied ecology.

In a commentary paper, researchers from the USGS, Bloom Research Inc., and West Virginia University discuss conceptual and technical issues in published telemetry studies that, if addressed, would improve estimation of flight altitude from telemetry data and advance understanding of the treatment of error in wildlife telemetry studies. They also suggest alternative strategies both to resolve some of these issues and to improve estimation of flight altitude. These strategies also can be applied to other measures derived from telemetry data.

Poessel, S.A., Duerr, A.E., Hall, J.C., Braham, M.A., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Improving estimation of flight altitude in wildlife telemetry studies: Journal of Applied Ecology, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13135.

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