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The Effects of Trap Response on Tag Recapture Estimates

Published on Mar 1, 1970in Biometrics1.755
· DOI :10.2307/2529040
George A. F. Seber25
Estimated H-index: 25
Abstract
In recent years capture-tag-recapture experiments have been widely used for estimating the size of animal populations (cf. Cormack [1968] for an excellent review). However, such methods are only applicable when a number of restrictive assumptions are known to be true, or at least approximately true. For example, it is generally assumed that all animals are equicatchable, and that trapping and tagging do not affect future catchability. However, in practice catchability may vary from individual to individual, e.g. variations between sexes, age groups, species (Kikkawa [1964]); gear selectivity in fish populations (International Commission [1963]); the effect of bait, trap, and habitat preferences upon catchability (Chitty and Shorten [1946], Corbet [1952]); and the effect of trap spacing on catchability (Kikkawa [1964]). Also trapping itself can affect the future catchability of animals as they may become 'trap-shy' or 'trap-addicted,' e.g. Evans [1951], Geis [1955], Morris [1955], Flyger [1959], Huber [1962], to mention just a few. Trap respongse can often be minimised by using prebaited traps (Chitty and Kempson [1949]), though this does not always work (Young et al. [1952], Croweroft and Jeff ers [1961]). Therefore in spite of careful experimentation the experimenter can never be sure that the underlying assumptions necessary for statistical analysis are satisfied. It is then imperative that the experimenter know something about the robustness of his statistical methods with respect to departures from the assumptions and where possible to test for these departures. As a step in this direction we shall examine the effect of certain departures on the so called Petersen estimate (commonly called the Lincoln index, cf. Le Cren [1965]) and discuss briefly a regression method of Marten [1969] for detecting these departures.
  • References (31)
  • Citations (127)
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References31
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#1Gerald G. Marten (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 4
The assumption of equal catchability of marked and unmarked animals in mark—recapture sampling is examined. Violation of this assumption may come from two basic sources, heterogeneity or contagion, and both produce a bias in the estimate of population size. Two approaches to this problem are discussed. First, it is noted that bias can be avoided by statistically independent sampling procedures for marking and recapturing. Second, a new regression method is presented for multiple captures on a cl...
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#1Douglas S. Robson (Cornell University)H-Index: 21
#2Henry A. Regier (Cornell University)H-Index: 4
Abstract The annual rate r of tag loss may be estimated from observations on the proportion of tag retentions among recoveries of fish which were both tagged and permanently marked at the time of release. In samples recovered t years after release, the proportion of marked fish still bearing tags is assumed to be an estimate of rt. Homogeneity of these t-year loss rates for different year classes may be tested by Chi-square, and the information from all samples may then be combined in the form o...
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Abstract Catch-effort, and catch-sampling data along with the results of a tagging study are used to estimate the size of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, population in the Neuse River, North Carolina, during 1958. At the beginning of July, estimates of the crab population, determined by three methods, were 716,000, 703,000, and 722,000 pounds, respectively. Catch, recruitment, and emigration of mature female crabs from the river affected abundance, whereas natural mortality and predation upo...
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Dahl writes thus: 'The main difficulty which had to be solved was to obtain a satisfactory estimate as to the number of trout present in these tarns. Starting from the idea which originally prompted Dr C. G. Johs. Petersen in his famous experiment with the plaice of the Limfjord in Jutland, I endeavoured to employ the marking of fish as a means of estimating the stock. Accordingly I constructed a seine-net, about 25 fathoms in length and 4 fathoms deep, of a mesh which could retain all trout dow...
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#1Douglas S. Robson (Cornell University)H-Index: 21
#2Henry A. Regier (Cornell University)H-Index: 4
Abstract The efficient planning of a Petersen-type mark and recapture experiment requires some knowledge of the order of magnitude of the population size N. Sample sizes M and C of the mark and recapture samples, respectively, may then be ascertained on the basis of a guessed value of N to achieve any desired degree of accuracy with any specified degree of confidence. Restrictions on the sample sizes M and C are that MC must exceed 4 times the guessed value of N, and the total costs of M and C m...
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In this study, we developed a nearly unbiased estimator of contemporary effective mother size in a population, which is based on a known maternal half-sibling relationship found within the same cohort. Our method allows for variance of the average number of offspring per mother (i.e., parental variation, such as age-specific fecundity) and variance of the number of offspring among mothers with identical reproductive potential (i.e., non-parental variation, such as family-correlated survivorship)...
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