"I just want to count them! Considerations when choosing a deer population monitoring method"

Amos, Matt, Baxter, Greg, Finch, Neal, Lisle, Allan and Murray, Peter (2014) "I just want to count them! Considerations when choosing a deer population monitoring method". Wildlife Biology, 20 6: 362-370. doi:10.2981/wlb.00080


Author Amos, Matt
Baxter, Greg
Finch, Neal
Lisle, Allan
Murray, Peter
Title "I just want to count them! Considerations when choosing a deer population monitoring method"
Journal name Wildlife Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0909-6396
1903-220X
Publication date 2014-12-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2981/wlb.00080
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 20
Issue 6
Start page 362
End page 370
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hornslet, Denmark
Publisher Nordic Council for Wildlife Research
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Effective management of any population involves decisions based on the levels of abundance at particular points in time. Hence the choice of an appropriate method to estimate abundance is critical. Deer are not native to Australia and are a declared pest in some states where their numbers must be controlled in environmentally sensitive areas. The aim of this research was to help Australian land managers choose between widely used methods to count deer. We compared population estimates or indices from: distance sampling, aerial surveys, spotlight counts, and faecal pellet counts. For each we estimated the labour input, cost, and precision. The coefficient of variation varied with method and time of year from 8.7 to 36.6%. Total labour input per sampling event varied from 11 to 136 h. Total costs of vehicles and equipment per sampling event varied from AU$913 to $2966. Overall, the spotlight method performed the best at our study site when comparing labour input, total cost and precision. However, choice of the most precise, cost effective method will be site specific and rely on information collected from a pilot study, We provide recommendations to help land managers choose between possible methods in various circumstances.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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