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September 12, 2022

Line-transect distance sampling (LTDS) surveys are commonly used to estimate abundance of animals or objects. In terrestrial LTDS surveys of gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows, the presence of ground-level vegetation significantly decreases detection of burrows of all sizes, but no field or analytical methods exist to control for spatially heterogeneous vegetation obstruction as a source of variation in detection. Here we propose the addition of a simple measurement of ground-level vegetation that serves as a covariate for the detection function. We present a Bayesian hierarchical model in which covariates burrow width and nearby vegetation height help to account for detection bias and improve precision of estimated density.

Publication Year 2022
Title Vegetation_LTDS
DOI 10.5066/P9B9DAFU
Authors Clinton Moore, Gaya Heather
Product Type Software Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Cooperative Research Units Program