Modeling misidentification errors that result from use of genetic tags in capture-recapture studies

Environmental and Ecological Statistics
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Misidentification of animals is potentially important when naturally existing features (natural tags) such as DNA fingerprints (genetic tags) are used to identify individual animals. For example, when misidentification leads to multiple identities being assigned to an animal, traditional estimators tend to overestimate population size. Accounting for misidentification in capture-recapture models requires detailed understanding of the mechanism. Using genetic tags as an example, we outline a framework for modeling the effect of misidentification in closed population studies when individual identification is based on natural tags that are consistent over time (non-evolving natural tags). We first assume a single sample is obtained per animal for each capture event, and then generalize to the case where multiple samples (such as hair or scat samples) are collected per animal per capture occasion. We introduce methods for estimating population size and, using a simulation study, we show that our new estimators perform well for cases with moderately high capture probabilities or high misidentification rates. In contrast, conventional estimators can seriously overestimate population size when errors due to misidentification are ignored. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Modeling misidentification errors that result from use of genetic tags in capture-recapture studies
Series title Environmental and Ecological Statistics
DOI 10.1007/s10651-009-0116-1
Volume 18
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental and Ecological Statistics
First page 27
Last page 55