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HOMERUN: Software for Correctly Calculating Size of Restricted Minimum Convex Polygon Home Ranges

Mike Weinstein, Mike Conner, George A. Hurst, and Bruce D. Leopold, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 9690, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39759 USA

Despite inferential limitations, restricted minimum convex polygon methods are widely used in wildlife studies. Unfortunately, available software packages which compute such ranges do so differently and incorrectly. Because of the number of calculations required, time demands have limited algorithm development. With the speed of current personal computers, however, time constraints are less important. We have developed a program, HOMERUN, which correctly calculates size for any degree of restriction. The program was written for the Windows95 operating system in Microsoft Visual Basic. The program accepts as input an ASCII file with animal locations listed on separate lines. Users are prompted to specify which columns pertain to x and y coordinates and which columns are to serve as grouping variables. Up to 3 variables may be specified (e.g., animal, year, season). Output is a text file with the original points, boundary points, censored points, and home range sizes. The output is displayed in a text editor which allows efficient parsing into one or many files specified by the user. Because of this capability, output can be directly imported into existing graphic or GIS software. Additional capabilities include calculation of distance between points, turning angle, and mean Euclidian distance between all possible combinations of points. The program is available from the first author at no cost.

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