Temporal pooling of point transect data increases precision in density estimates of southern chamois

Jesús M. Pérez, Josep M.López Martin, Johan Espunyes, Andreu Colom-Cadena, Xavier Fernández-Aguilar, Diana Gassó, Gregorio Mentaberre, Ignasi Marco, Jordi Xifra Corominas, Santiago Lavín, Emmanuel Serrano

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© 2017 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde Estimating animal abundances in small areas is a difficult task and because a limited number of observations often results in low-precision estimates whose inaccuracies may even be exacerbated if surveys are focussed on clustered populations and/or are only carried out once a year. In an attempt to overcome this problem, we used point transects to monthly survey two small areas of a game reserve to assess the density of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica). The coefficient of variation associated with the density estimates after pooling observations by season was still high but decreased to reasonable values (<20%) when observations were over 29 chamois groups (clusters). Our results suggest that Distance Sampling may be a useful way of estimating the population density of mountain ungulates such as Pyrenean chamois in small rugged areas where only a small or moderate number of observations are to be expected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
JournalMammalian Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Distance sampling
  • Mountain ungulates
  • Population monitoring
  • Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica
  • Sampling effort


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