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Estimating abundance from repeated presence-absence data or point counts

June 16, 2010

We describe an approach for estimating occupancy rate or the proportion of area occupied when heterogeneity in detection probability exists as a result of variation in abundance of the organism under study. The key feature of such problems, which we exploit, is that variation in abundance induces variation in detection probability. Thus, heterogeneity in abundance can be modeled as heterogeneity in detection probability. Moreover, this linkage between heterogeneity in abundance and heterogeneity in detection probability allows one to exploit a heterogeneous detection probability model to estimate the underlying distribution of abundances. Therefore, our method allows estimation of abundance from repeated observations of the presence or absence of animals without having to uniquely mark individuals in the population.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Estimating abundance from repeated presence-absence data or point counts
Authors J. Andrew Royle, J. D. Nichols
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecology
Series Number
Index ID 5224229
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center