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An integrated modeling approach to estimating Gunnison Sage-Grouse population dynamics: combining index and demographic data.

Ecology and Evolution
By: , and 

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Abstract

Evaluation of population dynamics for rare and declining species is often limited to data that are sparse and/or of poor quality. Frequently, the best data available for rare bird species are based on large-scale, population count data. These data are commonly based on sampling methods that lack consistent sampling effort, do not account for detectability, and are complicated by observer bias. For some species, short-term studies of demographic rates have been conducted as well, but the data from such studies are typically analyzed separately. To utilize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of these two data types, we developed a novel Bayesian integrated model that links population count data and population demographic data through population growth rate (λ) for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). The long-term population index data available for Gunnison sage-grouse are annual (years 1953–2012) male lek counts. An intensive demographic study was also conducted from years 2005 to 2010. We were able to reduce the variability in expected population growth rates across time, while correcting for potential small sample size bias in the demographic data. We found the population of Gunnison sage-grouse to be variable and slightly declining over the past 16 years.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An integrated modeling approach to estimating Gunnison Sage-Grouse population dynamics: combining index and demographic data.
Series title Ecology and Evolution
Volume 4
Issue 22
Year Published 2014
Publisher Blackwell Pub. Ltd.
Publisher location Oxford
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Ecology and Evolution
First page 4247
Last page 2457
Country United States
State Colorado, Utah
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N