Detection probability of least tern and piping plover chicks in a large river system

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 



Monitoring the abundance and stability of populations of conservation concern is often complicated by an inability to perfectly detect all members of the population. Mark-recapture offers a flexible framework in which one may identify factors contributing to imperfect detection, while at the same time estimating demographic parameters such as abundance or survival. We individually color-marked, recaptured, and re-sighted 1,635 federally listed interior least tern (Sternula antillarum; endangered) chicks and 1,318 piping plover (Charadrius melodus; threatened) chicks from 2006 to 2009 at 4 study areas along the Missouri River and investigated effects of observer-, subject-, and site-level covariates suspected of influencing detection. Increasing the time spent searching and crew size increased the probability of detecting both species regardless of study area and detection methods were not associated with decreased survival. However, associations between detection probability and the investigated covariates were highly variable by study area and species combinations, indicating that a universal mark-recapture design may not be appropriate.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Detection probability of least tern and piping plover chicks in a large river system
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.697
Volume 78
Issue 4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Wiley Online Library
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 709
Last page 720
Country United States
State Nebraska;North Dakota;South Dakota
Other Geospatial Missouri River
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