Some consequences of using counts of birds banded as indices to populations

By:  and 
Edited by: C. John Ralph and Erica H. Dunn


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In mist-net studies, it is often difficult to use capture-recapture methods to estimate number of birds present. Many investigators use number of birds captured as an index of population size. We investigate the consequences of using indices of bird abundance as surrogates for population size in hypothesis tests. Unless all of the birds present are captured, indices are biased estimates of local population size, and the amount of bias depends on the proportion of birds captured. We demonstrate the potential effects of bias on hypothesis tests based on indices. The bias generally causes type I error rates to be inflated. Investigators should either estimate the proportion of animals captured using capture-recapture methods or demonstrate that results of hypothesis tests based on indices are not consequences of bias in the indices.
Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Some consequences of using counts of birds banded as indices to populations
Series number 29
Year Published 2004
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 211
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Monitoring bird populations with mist nets
First page 168
Last page 172
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