Spatial Mark-Resight for Categorically Marked Populations with an Application to Genetic Capture-Recapture

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ben AugustineMarcella Kelly


The estimation of animal population density is a fundamental goal in wildlife ecology and management, commonly met using mark recapture or spatial mark recapture (SCR) study designs and statistical methods. Mark-recapture methods require the identification of individuals; however, for many species and sampling methods, particularly noninvasive methods, no individuals or only a subset of individuals are individually identifiable. The unmarked SCR model, theoretically, can estimate the density of unmarked populations; however, it produces biased and imprecise density estimates in many sampling scenarios typically encountered. Spatial mark-resight (SMR) models extend the unmarked SCR model in three ways: 1) by introducing a subset of individuals that are marked and individually identifiable, 2) introducing the possibility of individual-linked telemetry data, and 3) introducing the possibility that the capture-recapture data from the survey used to deploy the marks can be used in a joint model, all improving the reliability of density estimates. The categorical spatial partial identity model (SPIM) improves the reliability of density estimates over unmarked SCR along another dimension, by adding categorical identity covariates that...Continue Reading

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