It is well known that hunters do not report 100% of the rings that they find on shot birds. Reward studies can be used to estimate what this reporting rate is, by comparison of recoveries of rings offering a monetary reward, to ordinary rings. A reward study of American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) is used to illustrate the design, and to motivate the development of statistical models for estimation and for testing hypotheses of temporal and geographic variation in reporting rates. The method involves indexing the data (recoveries) and parameters (reporting, harvest, and solicitation rates) by geographic and temporal strata. Estimates are obtained under unconstrained (e.g., allowing temporal variability in reporting rates) and constrained (e.g., constant reporting rates) models, and hypotheses are tested by likelihood ratio. A FORTRAN program, available from the author, is used to perform the computations.
Additional publication details
Maximum likelihood methods for investigating reporting rates of rings on hunter-shot birds