Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Conroy, M. J. J. T. Peterson, O. L. Bass, C. J. Fonnesbeck, J. E. Howell, C. T. Moore, and J. P. Runge. 2008. Sources of variation in detection of wading birds from aerial surveys in the Florida Everglades. Auk 125:731-743.

Abstract

We conducted dual-observer trials to estimate detection probabilities (probability that a group that is present and available is detected) for fixed-wing aerial surveys of wading birds in the Everglades system, Florida. Detection probability ranged from <0.2 to ~0.75 and varied according to species, group size, observer, and the observer's position in the aircraft (front or rear seat). Aerial-survey simulations indicated that incomplete detection can have a substantial effect on assessment of population trends, particularly over relatively short intervals (≤3 years) and small annual changes in population size (≤3%). We conclude that detection bias is an important consideration for interpreting observations from aerial surveys of wading birds, potentially limiting the use of these data for comparative purposes and trend analyses. We recommend that workers conducting aerial surveys for wading birds endeavor to reduce observer and other controllable sources of detection bias and account for uncontrollable sources through incorporation of dual-observer or other calibration methods as part of survey design (e.g., using double sampling).

 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 11

Phd Students: 11

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 14

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 20

Scientific Publications: 80

Presentations: 244

 

Status

Published
July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 2008

Access

Download File Publisher Website

Unit Authors

Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  2. Oregon State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute