skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Effects of scale of movement, detection probability, and true population density on common methods of estimating population density

Abstract

Knowledge of population density is necessary for effective management and conservation of wildlife, yet rarely are estimators compared in their robustness to effects of ecological and observational processes, which can greatly influence accuracy and precision of density estimates. For this study, we simulate biological and observational processes using empirical data to assess effects of animal scale of movement, true population density, and probability of detection on common density estimators. We also apply common data collection and analytical techniques in the field and evaluate their ability to estimate density of a globally widespread species. We find that animal scale of movement had the greatest impact on accuracy of estimators, although all estimators suffered reduced performance when detection probability was low, and we provide recommendations as to when each field and analytical technique is most appropriately employed. The large influence of scale of movement on estimator accuracy emphasizes the importance of effective post-hoc calculation of area sampled or use of methods that implicitly account for spatial variation. In particular, scale of movement impacted estimators substantially, such that area covered and spacing of detectors (e.g. cameras, traps, etc.) must reflect movement characteristics of the focal species to reduce bias in estimates of movementmore » and thus density.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [2];  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Lab. (SREL). Univ. of Georgia and D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  2. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO (United States). Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Wildlife Services (WS)
  3. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Lab. (SREL). Univ. of Georgia and Odum School of Ecology
  4. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) National Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State, MS (United States). Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Wildlife Services (WS)
  5. US Dept. of Agriculture Southern Research Station, New Ellenton, SC (United States). Forest Service
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). The Univ. of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM); U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC); United States Forest Service
OSTI Identifier:
1427804
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC09-07SR22506; 15-7488-119-CA
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Ecological modelling; Invasive species

Citation Formats

Keiter, David A., Davis, Amy J., Rhodes, Olin E., Cunningham, Fred L., Kilgo, John C., Pepin, Kim M., and Beasley, James C. Effects of scale of movement, detection probability, and true population density on common methods of estimating population density. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09746-5.
Keiter, David A., Davis, Amy J., Rhodes, Olin E., Cunningham, Fred L., Kilgo, John C., Pepin, Kim M., & Beasley, James C. Effects of scale of movement, detection probability, and true population density on common methods of estimating population density. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09746-5.
Keiter, David A., Davis, Amy J., Rhodes, Olin E., Cunningham, Fred L., Kilgo, John C., Pepin, Kim M., and Beasley, James C. Fri . "Effects of scale of movement, detection probability, and true population density on common methods of estimating population density". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09746-5. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1427804.
@article{osti_1427804,
title = {Effects of scale of movement, detection probability, and true population density on common methods of estimating population density},
author = {Keiter, David A. and Davis, Amy J. and Rhodes, Olin E. and Cunningham, Fred L. and Kilgo, John C. and Pepin, Kim M. and Beasley, James C.},
abstractNote = {Knowledge of population density is necessary for effective management and conservation of wildlife, yet rarely are estimators compared in their robustness to effects of ecological and observational processes, which can greatly influence accuracy and precision of density estimates. For this study, we simulate biological and observational processes using empirical data to assess effects of animal scale of movement, true population density, and probability of detection on common density estimators. We also apply common data collection and analytical techniques in the field and evaluate their ability to estimate density of a globally widespread species. We find that animal scale of movement had the greatest impact on accuracy of estimators, although all estimators suffered reduced performance when detection probability was low, and we provide recommendations as to when each field and analytical technique is most appropriately employed. The large influence of scale of movement on estimator accuracy emphasizes the importance of effective post-hoc calculation of area sampled or use of methods that implicitly account for spatial variation. In particular, scale of movement impacted estimators substantially, such that area covered and spacing of detectors (e.g. cameras, traps, etc.) must reflect movement characteristics of the focal species to reduce bias in estimates of movement and thus density.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-09746-5},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 8 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Spatial capture–recapture model performance with known small-mammal densities
journal, April 2015

  • Gerber, Brian D.; Parmenter, Robert R.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 25, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1890/14-0960.1

Abundance of rare and elusive species: Empirical investigation of closed versus spatially explicit capture-recapture models with lynx as a case study
journal, September 2012

  • Blanc, Laetitia; Marboutin, Eric; Gatti, Sylvain
  • The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 77, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.453

Estimating wild boar (Sus scrofa) abundance and density using capture–resights in Canton of Geneva, Switzerland
journal, November 2007

  • Hebeisen, C.; Fattebert, J.; Baubet, E.
  • European Journal of Wildlife Research, Vol. 54, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10344-007-0156-5

Analyzing animal movement patterns using potential functions
journal, March 2013

  • Preisler, Haiganoush K.; Ager, Alan A.; Wisdom, Michael J.
  • Ecosphere, Vol. 4, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1890/ES12-00286.1

Demography, sociospatial behaviour and genetics of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in a semi-arid environment
journal, March 1999


Using simulation to compare methods for estimating density from capture–recapture data
journal, April 2013

  • Ivan, Jacob S.; White, Gary C.; Shenk, Tanya M.
  • Ecology, Vol. 94, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1890/12-0102.1

Application of Spatial and Closed Capture-Recapture Models on Known Population of the Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal
journal, September 2015


Trap style influences wild pig behavior and trapping success
journal, February 2011

  • Williams, Brian L.; Holtfreter, Robert W.; Ditchkoff, Stephen S.
  • The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 75, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.64

Empirical comparison of density estimators for large carnivores
journal, February 2010


Evaluation of Rhodamine B as a biomarker for assessing bait acceptance in wild pigs: Rhodamine B as a Bait Biomarker in Wild Pigs
journal, December 2014

  • Beasley, James; Webster, Sarah C.; Rhodes, Olin E.
  • Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 39, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/wsb.510

A Removal Model for Estimating Detection Probabilities from Point-Count Surveys
journal, January 2002


A Mark–Recapture Technique for Monitoring Feral Swine Populations
journal, May 2011

  • Reidy, Matthew M.; Campbell, Tyler A.; Hewitt, David G.
  • Rangeland Ecology & Management, Vol. 64, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-10-00158.1

Spatially Explicit Maximum Likelihood Methods for Capture-Recapture Studies
journal, June 2008


Evaluation of Two Density Estimators of Small Mammal Population Size
journal, February 1985

  • Wilson, K. R.; Anderson, D. R.
  • Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 66, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.2307/1380951

Faecal pellet group counting as a promising method of wild boar population density estimation
journal, July 2014


Comparing capture-recapture, mark-resight, and spatial mark-resight models for estimating puma densities via camera traps
journal, April 2014

  • Rich, Lindsey N.; Kelly, Marcella J.; Sollmann, Rahel
  • Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 95, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1644/13-MAMM-A-126

The Removal Method of Population Estimation
journal, January 1958

  • Zippin, Calvin
  • The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 22, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.2307/3797301

Spatially explicit models for inference about density in unmarked or partially marked populations
journal, June 2013

  • Chandler, Richard B.; Royle, J. Andrew
  • The Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 7, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1214/12-AOAS610

Noninvasive genetic sampling: look before you leap
journal, August 1999


Estimating Population Size of Elusive Animals with DNA from Hunter-Collected Feces: Four Methods for Brown Bears
journal, February 2005


Inferring invasive species abundance using removal data from management actions
journal, September 2016

  • Davis, Amy J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Miller, Ryan S.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 26, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/eap.1383

The effects of urbanization on population density, occupancy, and detection probability of wild felids
journal, October 2015

  • Lewis, Jesse S.; Logan, Kenneth A.; Alldredge, Mat W.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 25, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1890/14-1664.1

Estimating jaguar densities with camera traps: Problems with current designs and recommendations for future studies
journal, March 2013


Comparison of Noninvasive Genetics and Camera Trapping for Estimating Population Density of Ocelots (Leopardus Pardalis) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama
journal, December 2014

  • Rodgers, Torrey W.; Giacalone, Jacalyn; Heske, Edward J.
  • Tropical Conservation Science, Vol. 7, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1177/194008291400700408

Habitats associated with vehicle collisions with wild pigs
journal, January 2013

  • Beasley, James C.; Grazia, Tracy E.; Johns, Paul E.
  • Wildlife Research, Vol. 40, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1071/WR13061

Evaluating capture-recapture population and density estimation of tigers in a population with known parameters
journal, January 2010


Estimating Closed Population Size and Number of Marked Animals from Sighting Data
journal, October 1991

  • Arnason, A. Neil; Schwarz, Carl J.; Gerrard, Jon M.
  • The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 55, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.2307/3809524

Effect of experimental manipulation on survival and recruitment of feral pigs
journal, January 2009

  • Hanson, Laura B.; Mitchell, Michael S.; Grand, James B.
  • Wildlife Research, Vol. 36, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1071/WR08077

Review of capture-recapture methods applicable to noninvasive genetic sampling: REVIEW OF DNA-BASED CAPTURE-RECAPTURE
journal, September 2005


Spatial capture–recapture models allowing Markovian transience or dispersal
journal, November 2015


Modeling and Mapping the Probability of Occurrence of Invasive Wild Pigs across the Contiguous United States
journal, August 2015


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Roads do not increase carrion use by a vertebrate scavenging community
    journal, November 2018


    Simulation-based validation of spatial capture-recapture models: A case study using mountain lions
    journal, April 2019


    Roads do not increase carrion use by a vertebrate scavenging community
    journal, November 2018


    Simulation-based validation of spatial capture-recapture models: A case study using mountain lions
    journal, April 2019