The effect of data analysis strategies in density estimation of mountain ungulates using distance sampling

J. M. Pérez, M. Sarasa, G. Moço, J. E. Granados, J. P. Crampe, E. Serrano, L. Maurino, P. G. Meneguz, A. Afonso, R. Alpizar-Jara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2014, © 2014 Unione Zoologica Italiana. Abstract: Distance sampling is being extensively used to estimate the abundance of animal populations. Nevertheless, the great variety of ways in which data can be analyzed may limit comparisons due to the lack of standardization of such protocols. In this study, the influence of analytical procedures for distance sampling data on density estimates and their precision was assessed. We have used data from 21 surveys of mountain ungulates in the Iberian Peninsula, France and the Italian Alps. Data from such surveys were analyzed with the program Distance 6.0. Our analyses show that estimated density can be higher for higher levels of data truncation. We also confirm that the estimates tend to be more precise when data are analyzed without binning and without truncating. We found no evidence of size biased sampling as group size and distances were uncorrelated in most of our surveys. Despite distance sampling being a fairly robust methodology, it can be sensitive to some data analysis strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)262-270
    JournalItalian Journal of Zoology
    Volume82
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015

    Keywords

    • data analysis
    • Distance sampling
    • mountain ungulates
    • population monitoring
    • precision

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