We assessed four potential sources of error in estimating size of the population of Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis): net, time of day, diver, and order of diver. Experimental dives (3/day) were conducted during 4 days in July 2009. Effects of the four sources of error on estimates from dive surveys were analyzed using a split-split plot ANOVA. Diver and order of diver had no significant influence on estimates, whereas the effect of presence or absence of a net was significant. Effects of time of day and presence or absence of a net showed a significant interaction with depth of water. Results indicated that pupfish may move upward during the dive, and as a result, the standard methods of dive surveys may underestimate abundance.
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Vol. 57 • No. 1