Spatial capture-recapture: a promising method for analyzing data collected using artificial cover objects

Herpetologica
By: , and 

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Abstract

Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) is a relatively recent development in ecological statistics that provides a spatial context for estimating abundance and space use patterns, and improves inference about absolute population density. SCR has been applied to individual encounter data collected noninvasively using methods such as camera traps, hair snares, and scat surveys. Despite the widespread use of capture-based surveys to monitor amphibians and reptiles, there are few applications of SCR in the herpetological literature. We demonstrate the utility of the application of SCR for studies of reptiles and amphibians by analyzing capture–recapture data from Red-Backed Salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, collected using artificial cover boards. Using SCR to analyze spatial encounter histories of marked individuals, we found evidence that density differed little among four sites within the same forest (on average, 1.59 salamanders/m2) and that salamander detection probability peaked in early October (Julian day 278) reflecting expected surface activity patterns of the species. The spatial scale of detectability, a measure of space use, indicates that the home range size for this population of Red-Backed Salamanders in autumn was 16.89 m2. Surveying reptiles and amphibians using artificial cover boards regularly generates spatial encounter history data of known individuals, which can readily be analyzed using SCR methods, providing estimates of absolute density and inference about the spatial scale of habitat use.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatial capture-recapture: a promising method for analyzing data collected using artificial cover objects
Series title Herpetologica
DOI 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-15-00027
Volume 72
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Herpetologists' Leaguee
Publisher location Chicago
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Herpetologica
First page 6
Last page 12
Country United States
State New York
City Ithaca
Other Geospatial Polson Nature Area
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N