Evaluating methodological assumptions of a catch-curve survival estimation of unmarked precocial shorebird chickes

Waterbirds
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Abstract

Estimating productivity for precocial species can be difficult because young birds leave their nest within hours or days of hatching and detectability thereafter can be very low. Recently, a method for using a modified catch-curve to estimate precocial chick daily survival for age based count data was presented using Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) data from the Missouri River. However, many of the assumptions of the catch-curve approach were not fully evaluated for precocial chicks. We developed a simulation model to mimic Piping Plovers, a fairly representative shorebird, and age-based count-data collection. Using the simulated data, we calculated daily survival estimates and compared them with the known daily survival rates from the simulation model. We conducted these comparisons under different sampling scenarios where the ecological and statistical assumptions had been violated. Overall, the daily survival estimates calculated from the simulated data corresponded well with true survival rates of the simulation. Violating the accurate aging and the independence assumptions did not result in biased daily survival estimates, whereas unequal detection for younger or older birds and violating the birth death equilibrium did result in estimator bias. Assuring that all ages are equally detectable and timing data collection to approximately meet the birth death equilibrium are key to the successful use of this method for precocial shorebirds.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluating methodological assumptions of a catch-curve survival estimation of unmarked precocial shorebird chickes
Series title Waterbirds
DOI 10.1675/063.036.0112
Volume 36
Issue 1
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Waterbird Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 6 p.
First page 82
Last page 87
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N