We consider capture-recapture studies where release and recapture data are available from each of a number of strata on every capture occasion. Strata may, for example, be geographic locations or physiological states. Movement of animals among strata occurs with unknown probabilities, and estimation of these unknown transition probabilities is the objective. We describe a computer routine for carrying out the analysis under a model that assumes Markovian transitions and under reduced parameter versions of this model. We also introduce models that relax the Markovian assumption and allow 'memory' to operate (i.e., allow dependence of the transition probabilities on the previous state). For these models, we sugg st an analysis based on a conditional likelihood approach. Methods are illustrated with data from a large study on Canada geese (Branta canadensis) banded in three geographic regions. The assumption of Markovian transitions is rejected convincingly for these data, emphasizing the importance of the more general models that allow memory.
Additional publication details
Capture-recapture studies for multiple strata including non-markovian transitions