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1 July 2008 Abundance Estimation With a Transient Model Under the Robust Design
Joanne Clavel, Alexandre Robert, Vincent Devictor, Romain Julliard
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A common situation in capture–mark–recapture (CMR) studies on birds and other organisms is to capture individuals not belonging to the studied population only present during the short time of the capture session. Presence of such transient individuals affects demographic parameter estimation from CMR data. Methods exist to reduce biases on survival estimates in the presence of transients and have been shown to be particularly efficient within the Robust Design framework (several secondary capture sessions within a short time interval during which the studied population can be assumed closed). We present a new model to estimate population size accounting for transients. We first used simulated data to show that the method reduces positive biases due to transients. In a second step, we applied the method to a real CMR dataset on a reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) population. Population size estimates are reduced by up to 50% when correcting for the presence of transients. Many field studies on managed animal populations use capture–recapture methodology to obtain crucial parameters of the focal population demography. The resulting data sets are used either to estimate population size ignoring the presence of transients, or to estimate vital rates, accounting for transients but overlooking abundance estimation. Our method conciliates these 2 approaches.

Joanne Clavel, Alexandre Robert, Vincent Devictor, and Romain Julliard "Abundance Estimation With a Transient Model Under the Robust Design," Journal of Wildlife Management 72(5), 1203-1210, (1 July 2008).
Published: 1 July 2008

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capture–mark–recapture models
Jackknife method
Mh model
population size estimation
robust design
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