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1 August 2010 Separating Components of the Detection Process With Combined Methods: An Example With Northern Bobwhite
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Abstract

There are various methods of estimating detection probabilities for avian point counts. Distance and multiple-observer methods require the sometimes unlikely assumption that all birds in the population are available (i.e., sing or are visible) during a count, but the time-of-detection method allows for the possibility that some birds are unavailable during the count. We combined the dependent double-observer method with the time-of-detection method and obtained field-based estimates of the components of detection probability for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Our approach was a special case of Pollock's robust capture–recapture design where the probability that a bird does not sing is analogous to the probability that an animal is a temporary emigrant. Top models indicated that observers' detection probabilities were similar (0.78–0.84) if bobwhite were available, but bobwhite only had an approximately 0.61 probability of being available during a 2.5-minute sampling interval. Additionally, observers' detection probabilities increased substantially after the initial encounter with an individual bobwhite (analogous to a trap-happy response on the part of the observer). A simulated data set revealed that the combined method was precise when availability and detection given availability were substantially lower. Combined methods approaches can provide critical information for researchers and land managers to make decisions regarding survey length and personnel requirements for point-count–based surveys.

Jason D. Riddle, Stephen J. Stanislav, Kenneth H. Pollock, Christopher E. Moorman, and Fern S. Perkins "Separating Components of the Detection Process With Combined Methods: An Example With Northern Bobwhite," Journal of Wildlife Management 74(6), 1319-1325, (1 August 2010). https://doi.org/10.2193/2009-220
Published: 1 August 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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