Recent developments in the modeling of capture-recapture data permit the direct estimation and modeling of population growth rate Pradel (1996). Resulting estimates reflect changes in numbers of birds on study areas, and such changes result from movement as well as survival and reproductive recruitment. One measure of the 'importance' of a demographic vital rate to population growth is based on temporal covariation (i.e., do changes in population growth follow changes in vital rates). If data are available to estimate vital rates or their components, then such data can be combined with capture-recapture data in order to estimate parameters of the relationship between population growth and the vital rate. These methods are illustrated using capture-recapture and nest observation data for Black-throated Blue Warblers, Dendroica caerulescens, from a long-term study at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. Population growth rate was found to be positively associated with the proportion of birds that double-brood. We encourage use of these methods and believe they will prove to be very useful in research on, and management of, migratory bird populations.
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Approaches for the direct estimation of rate of increase in population size using capture-recapture data
U. S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station