Global positioning system (GPS) technology is being implemented by the Department of Defense and is becoming generally available. Portable, lightweight, low-cost receivers give a rapid readout of location to within 100 feet in a few seconds. The geometry of the satellite GPS system and of the ground-based Long Range Navigation (LORAN) is described. Examples are given of the use of the LORAN system to track black bears in the Spanish Fork area of Utah, using radio collars. This use provides an effective method of monitoring habitat usage and seasonal activity patterns. GPS is effective in field mapping because it provides navigation control for transects, permits precise recovery of study sites, and permits verification of habitat maps. A habitat study of Gambel's quail in southwest Utah provides a good example of this application. GPS is also used to provide control for the rectification of photogrammetric information, greatly increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of aerial survey. Examples of Hopi rattlesnakes and Gila monster studies in southern Utah are presented, illustrating the use of GPS to link field studies to studies of earth-resources satellite data. Combining these in a GIS environment saves countless hours of time, reaps large dividends in dollars, and proves to ben an effective tool in managing natural resources.
Foster, Dan A.
"Position of GPS in wildlife and habitat mapping,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 2, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol2/iss1/12