Senescent decline in survival probabilities of animals is a topic about which much has been written but little is known. Here, we present formal tests of senescence hypotheses, using 1373 recaptures from 8877 duckling (age 0) and 504 yearling Common Pochards (Aythya ferina) banded at a Latvian study site, 1975-1992. The tests are based on capture-recapture models that explicitly incorporate sampling probabilities that, themselves, may exhibit timeand age-specific variation. The tests provided no evidence of senescent decline in survival probabilities for this species. Power of the most useful test was low for gradual declines in annual survival probability with age, but good for steeper declines. We recommend use of this type of capture-recapture modeling and analysis for other investigations of senescence in animal survival rates.
Additional publication details
Tests for senescent decline in annual survival probabilities of common pochards, Aythya ferina