Annual monitoring surveys for the endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus Olivier, have been conducted in south central South Dakota since 1995. The population has been stable in abundance and distribution. Two mark and recapture surveys were conducted in June and August, 2005 in southern Tripp County, South Dakota, U.S.A. Using baited pitfall traps, we captured and marked 168 specimens of N. americanus during 410 trap-nights in June. In August, 323 specimens were captured and marked in 450 trap-nights. We estimated the population size of N. americanus in an area of approximately 220 km2. Estimates were obtained using a family of models (program CAPTURE) that incorporate several sources of variability in probability of capture. The June population estimate (±1 SE) was 442 ± 73 and a 95% confidence interval of 333–624 adults. The August population estimate (±1 SE) was 901 ± 117 with a 95% confidence interval of 714–1,177 tenerals and adults combined.
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