A broader definition of occupancy: A reply to Hayes and Monofils

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Occupancy models are widely used to analyze presence–absence data for a variety of taxa while accounting for observation error (MacKenzie et al. 2002, 2006; Tyre et al. 2003; Royle and Dorazio 2008). Hayes and Monfils (2015) question their use for analyzing avian point count data based on purported violations of model assumptions incurred by avian mobility. Animal mobility is an important consideration, not just for occupancy models, but for a variety of population and habitat models (Boyce 2006, Royle et al. 2009, Manning and Goldberg 2010, Dormann et al. 2013, Renner et al. 2015). Nevertheless, we believe the ultimate conclusions of Hayes and Monfils are shortsighted mainly due to a narrow interpretation of occupancy. Rather than turn away from the use of occupancy models, we believe they remain an appropriate method for analyzing many data sets collected from avian point count surveys. Further, we suggest that there is value in having a broader and more nuanced interpretation of occupancy that incorporates the potential for animal movement. 

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A broader definition of occupancy: A reply to Hayes and Monofils
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.1022
Volume 80
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 3 p.
First page 192
Last page 194
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N