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The removal method of population estimation

The removal method of population estimation

Jour Wildlife Management 22(1): 82-90

DOI: 10.2307/3797301

The assumptions (stationary population, equal probability of capture per trapping for all animals exposed to capture, probability of capture remains constant from trapping to trapping) underlying the removal method of population estimation were reviewed and a graphical method of estimation was recommended and described. If the assumptions of the method hold, the precision of a population estimate is primarily dependent on the proportion of the population captured, or the total number of units of trapping effort employed in the program, and relatively little on the number of trappings. Relatively large proportions of the population must be captured in order to obtain precise estimates of population size. Specific effects of failures in the basic assumptions, such as a decrease in the average probability of capture from 1 trapping to the next, and immigration into the trapping area during the trapping program were described. Where the assumptions of both the removal and recapture methods of population estimation are met, the recapture method would be expected to give more precise results. The assumption of a constant probability of capture was studied using data from the North American Census of Small Mammals. To compensate for an indicated departure from this assumption under actual trapping conditions, the standard error formula should be inflated. An inflation factor of 1.2 was suggested for the data studied.

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Accession: 023942836

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