Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Project


Designing surveys for estimating biological truth.

September 2022 - September 2024


Personnel

Participating Agencies

Surveys of unmarked animals can be used to answer many ecological research questions. Hierarchical abundance and occurrence models are frequently used to analyze such data when species are detected imperfectly, but assumptions are frequently violated when surveying mobile animals. We are working to develop sampling protocols that lead to unbiased estimates of occupancy and abundance to improve estimation of the true patterns and processes underlying the observed data. This work is being conducted in collaboration with researchers from numerous organizations including the Integral Ecology Research Center, College of William and Mary, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, University of St. Andrews, Michigan State University, California State Polytechnic University, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Audubon Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Georgia, and University of California, Los Angeles. We expect our findings to be used by researchers and managers around the globe to improve occupancy estimation.

Presentations Presentation Date
Valente, J.J., V. Jirinec, and M. Leu (2024). Thinking beyond the closure assumption: designing surveys for estimating biological truth with occupancy models. 109th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Long Beach, CA, 4-9 August 2024. August 2024
Valente, J.J., V. Jirinec, and M. Leu (2024). Thinking beyond the closure assumption: designing point count protocols for estimating biological truth with occupancy models. Meeting of the American Ornithological Society, Estes Park, CO, 1-5 October 2024. October 2024