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1 October 2010 An Unreconciled Double-Observer Method for Estimating Detection Probability and Abundance
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Abstract

Multiple-observer point-count methods allow estimation of detection probability and have some advantages over other point-count methods. We introduce the unreconciled double-observer method, an independent double-observer method that does not require observers to match or otherwise reconcile individual observations. The modeling of the counts uses the repeated-counts model (Royle 2004). We compared estimates of detection probability and abundance from the unreconciled double-observer method with estimates from the traditional independent double-observer method (which requires matching of individual animals) using field-simulated bird-point-count data. The unreconciled double-observer method provided point estimates of detection probability and abundance that were essentially identical to the results of the independent double-observer method, even though much less effort was required to collect data with the unreconciled method. Estimates of detection probability from the unreconciled double-observer method were usually less precise—and estimates of abundance always less precise—than those from the independent double-observer method, because there is less information available in the unreconciled double-observer approach. We also evaluated the unreconciled double-observer method on 12 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes. The unreconciled double-observer method provided estimates of route-level abundance for most routes and for most of the 20 species we considered. We believe that this method has potential for established bird-monitoring programs such as the BBS because no changes in historical data-collection methods are required other than collecting data simultaneously using two or more observers.

©2010 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions website, http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintInfo.asp.
Jason D. Riddle, Kenneth H. Pollock, and Theodore R. Simons "An Unreconciled Double-Observer Method for Estimating Detection Probability and Abundance," The Auk 127(4), 841-849, (1 October 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/auk.2010.09118
Received: 5 August 2009; Accepted: 1 March 2010; Published: 1 October 2010
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