Density estimation for small mammals from live trapping grids: rodents in northern Canada.

Charles KREBS, Rudy Boonstra, Scott Gilbert, Donald Reid, Alice Kenney, Elizabeth J. Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Management agencies and quantitative ecologists need robust estimates of population density. The best way of converting population estimates of livetrapped small mammals to population density is not clear. We estimated population density on livetrapping grids with 4 estimators applied to 3 species of boreal forest and 3 species of tundra rodents to test for relative differences in density estimators. We used 2 spatial estimators proposed by Efford (2009) and 2 traditional boundary-strip estimators designed for grid livetrapping. We analyzed markâ¿¿recapture data from 104 trapping sessions from the boreal forest at Kluane, Yukon (n â¿¿=â¿¿ 4,818 individuals), and 56 trapping sessions from tundra areas of Herschel Island and Komakuk Beach in northern Yukon (n â¿¿=â¿¿ 1,327 individuals). For boreal forest rodents on average both boundary-strip methods produced density estimates larger than Efford's maximum-likelihood (ML) estimator by as much as 50% at all population densities up to 25 animals/ha. For tundra rodents both boundary-strip methods produced density estimates smaller than Efford's ML at low density (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-981
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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