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Individual heterogeneity and identifiability in capture-recapture models

January 1, 2004

Individual heterogeneity in detection probabilities is a far more serious problem for capture-recapture modeling than has previously been recognized. In this note, I illustrate that population size is not an identifiable parameter under the general closed population mark-recapture model Mh. The problem of identifiability is obvious if the population includes individuals with pi = 0, but persists even when it is assumed that individual detection probabilities are bounded away from zero. Identifiability may be attained within parametric families of distributions for pi, but not among parametric families of distributions. Consequently, in the presence of individual heterogeneity in detection probability, capture-recapture analysis is strongly model dependent.

Publication Year 2004
Title Individual heterogeneity and identifiability in capture-recapture models
Authors W. A. Link
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Animal Biodiversity and Conservation
Index ID 5224429
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center