The use of camera traps to estimate population size when animals are not individually recognizable is gaining traction in the ecological literature, because of its applicability in population conservation and management. We estimated population size of synthetic animals with four camera trap sampling-based statistical models that do not rely on individual recognition. Using a realistic model of animal movement to generate synthetic data, we compared the random encounter model, the random encounter and staying time model, the association model and the time-to-event-model and we investigated the impact of violation of assumptions on the population size estimates. While under ideal conditions these models provide reliable population estimates, when synthetic animal movements were characterised by differences in speed (due to diverse behaviours such as locomotion, grazing and resting) none of the model provided both unbiased and precise density estimates. The random encounter model and the time-to-event-model provided pre- cise results but tended to overestimate population size, while the random encounter and staying time model was less precise and tended to underestimate population size. Lastly, the association model was unable to provide precise results. We found that each tested model was very sensitive to the method used to estimate the range of the field-of-view of camera traps. Density esti- mates from both random encounter model and time-to-event-model were also very sensitive to biases in the estimate of ani- mals’ speed. We provide guidelines on how to use these statistical models to get population size estimates that could be useful to wildlife managers and practitioners.

Santini, G.; Abolaffio, M.; Ossi, F.; Franzetti, B.; Cagnacci, F.; Focardi, S. (2022). Population assessment without individual identification using camera-traps: a comparison of four methods. BASIC AND APPLIED ECOLOGY, 61: 68-81. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2022.03.007 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/78157

Population assessment without individual identification using camera-traps: a comparison of four methods

Ossi, F.;Cagnacci, F.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The use of camera traps to estimate population size when animals are not individually recognizable is gaining traction in the ecological literature, because of its applicability in population conservation and management. We estimated population size of synthetic animals with four camera trap sampling-based statistical models that do not rely on individual recognition. Using a realistic model of animal movement to generate synthetic data, we compared the random encounter model, the random encounter and staying time model, the association model and the time-to-event-model and we investigated the impact of violation of assumptions on the population size estimates. While under ideal conditions these models provide reliable population estimates, when synthetic animal movements were characterised by differences in speed (due to diverse behaviours such as locomotion, grazing and resting) none of the model provided both unbiased and precise density estimates. The random encounter model and the time-to-event-model provided pre- cise results but tended to overestimate population size, while the random encounter and staying time model was less precise and tended to underestimate population size. Lastly, the association model was unable to provide precise results. We found that each tested model was very sensitive to the method used to estimate the range of the field-of-view of camera traps. Density esti- mates from both random encounter model and time-to-event-model were also very sensitive to biases in the estimate of ani- mals’ speed. We provide guidelines on how to use these statistical models to get population size estimates that could be useful to wildlife managers and practitioners.
Camera trap
Abundance estimation
Time-to-event
REST
Population monitoring
Association model
Random encounter model
Settore BIO/07 - ECOLOGIA
2022
Santini, G.; Abolaffio, M.; Ossi, F.; Franzetti, B.; Cagnacci, F.; Focardi, S. (2022). Population assessment without individual identification using camera-traps: a comparison of four methods. BASIC AND APPLIED ECOLOGY, 61: 68-81. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2022.03.007 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/78157
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/78157
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