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Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea: A 30-year mark-recapture case history

Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics

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Abstract

Knowledge of population size and trend is necessary to manage anthropogenic risks to polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Despite capturing over 1,025 females between 1967 and 1998, previously calculated estimates of the size of the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) population have been unreliable. We improved estimates of numbers of polar bears by modeling heterogeneity in capture probability with covariates. Important covariates referred to the year of the study, age of the bear, capture effort, and geographic location. Our choice of best approximating model was based on the inverse relationship between variance in parameter estimates and likelihood of the fit and suggested a growth from ~500 to over 1,000 females during this study. The mean coefficient of variation on estimates for the last decade of the study was 0.16-the smallest yet derived. A similar model selection approach is recommended for other projects where a best model is not identified by likelihood criteria alone.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea: A 30-year mark-recapture case history
Series title:
Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics
Volume
6
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Biological Science Center
Description:
pp. 221-234
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics
First page:
221
Last page:
234
Number of Pages:
14