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Designing cost-effective capture-recapture surveys for improving the monitoring of survival in bird populations

Abstract : Population monitoring traditionally relies on population counts, accounting or not for the issue of detectability. However, this approach does not permit to go into details on demographic processes. Therefore, Capture-Recapture (CR) surveys have become popular tools for scientists and practitioners willing to measure survival response to environmental change or conservation actions. However, CR surveys are expensive and their design is often driven by the available resources, without estimation about the level of precision they provide for detecting changes in survival, despite optimising resource allocation in wildlife monitoring is increasingly important. Investigating how CR surveys could be optimised by manipulating resource allocation among different design components is therefore critically needed. We have conducted a simulation experiment exploring the statistical power of a wide range of CR survey designs to detect changes in the survival rate of birds. CR surveys differ in terms of number of breeding pairs monitored, number of offspring and adults marked, resighting effort and survey duration. We compared open-nest (ON) and nest-box (NB) monitoring types, using medium-and long-lived model species. Increasing survey duration and number of pairs monitored increased statistical power. Long survey duration can provide accurate estimations for long-lived birds even for small population size (15 pairs). A cost-benefit analysis revealed that for long-lived ON species, ringing as many chicks as possible appears as the most effective survey component, unless a technique for capturing breeding birds at low cost is available to compensate for reduced local recruitment. For medium-lived NB species, focusing the NB rounds at a period that maximises the chance to capture breeding females inside nest-boxes is more rewarding than ringing all chicks. We show that integrating economic costs is crucial when designing CR surveys and discuss ways to improve efficiency by reducing duration to a time scale compatible with management and conservation issues.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01766433
Contributor : Alexandre Millon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 12:50:57 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 10:14:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 9:26:43 AM

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Nicolas Lieury, Sébastien Devillard, Aurélien Besnard, Olivier Gimenez, Olivier Hameau, et al.. Designing cost-effective capture-recapture surveys for improving the monitoring of survival in bird populations. Biological Conservation, Elsevier, 2017, 214, pp.233-241. ⟨10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.011⟩. ⟨hal-01766433⟩

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