Optimizing the size of the area surveyed for monitoring a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) population in the Swiss Alps by means of photographic capture-recapture

Zimmermann, Fridolin; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Molinari-Jobin, Anja; Breitenmoser, Urs (2013). Optimizing the size of the area surveyed for monitoring a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) population in the Swiss Alps by means of photographic capture-recapture. Integrative zoology, 8(3), pp. 232-243. Wiely 10.1111/1749-4877.12017

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We studied the influence of surveyed area size on density estimates by means of camera-trapping in a low-density felid population (1-2 individuals/100 km(2) ). We applied non-spatial capture-recapture (CR) and spatial CR (SCR) models for Eurasian lynx during winter 2005/2006 in the northwestern Swiss Alps by sampling an area divided into 5 nested plots ranging from 65 to 760 km(2) . CR model density estimates (95% CI) for models M0 and Mh decreased from 2.61 (1.55-3.68) and 3.6 (1.62-5.57) independent lynx/100 km(2) , respectively, in the smallest to 1.20 (1.04-1.35) and 1.26 (0.89-1.63) independent lynx/100 km(2) , respectively, in the largest area surveyed. SCR model density estimates also decreased with increasing sampling area but not significantly. High individual range overlaps in relatively small areas (the edge effect) is the most plausible reason for this positive bias in the CR models. Our results confirm that SCR models are much more robust to changes in trap array size than CR models, thus avoiding overestimation of density in smaller areas. However, when a study is concerned with monitoring population changes, large spatial efforts (area surveyed ≥760 km(2) ) are required to obtain reliable and precise density estimates with these population densities and recapture rates.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology

UniBE Contributor:

Breitenmoser, Urs

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1749-4877

Publisher:

Wiely

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

22 Aug 2014 14:38

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2015 11:18

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/1749-4877.12017

PubMed ID:

24020463

Uncontrolled Keywords:

area surveyed, density estimation, Lynx lynx, photographic capture–recapture, Swiss Alps

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45946

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45946

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