Existing models for ring recovery and recapture data analysis treat temporal variations in annual survival probability (S) as fixed effects. Often there is no explainable structure to the temporal variation in S1,..., Sk; random effects can then be a useful model: Si = E(S) + ??i. Here, the temporal variation in survival probability is treated as random with average value E(??2) = ??2. This random effects model can now be fit in program MARK. Resultant inferences include point and interval estimation for process variation, ??2, estimation of E(S) and var (E??(S)) where the latter includes a component for ??2 as well as the traditional component for v??ar(S??\S??). Furthermore, the random effects model leads to shrinkage estimates, Si, as improved (in mean square error) estimators of Si compared to the MLE, S??i, from the unrestricted time-effects model. Appropriate confidence intervals based on the Si are also provided. In addition, AIC has been generalized to random effects models. This paper presents results of a Monte Carlo evaluation of inference performance under the simple random effects model. Examined by simulation, under the simple one group Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) model, are issues such as bias of ??s2, confidence interval coverage on ??2, coverage and mean square error comparisons for inference about Si based on shrinkage versus maximum likelihood estimators, and performance of AIC model selection over three models: Si ??? S (no effects), Si = E(S) + ??i (random effects), and S1,..., Sk (fixed effects). For the cases simulated, the random effects methods performed well and were uniformly better than fixed effects MLE for the Si.
Additional publication details
Evaluation of some random effects methodology applicable to bird ringing data