Presenter Information

Kaitlyn M. StrickfadenFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Dr. Victoria J. Dreitz

Faculty Mentor’s Department

W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation

Abstract

Imperfect detection is a known issue with conducting wildlife surveys. False positive detections, where an individual is counted as present when it truly is not, are often assumed to not occur. This assumption can skew detection rates and create misleading results when calculating population estimates. Survey methods such as the dependent double-observer method developed by Nichols et al. (2000) are suggested to reduce the occurrence of false positives by using two collaborating observers. This study quantified and compared rates of false positives between a single-observer method and the dependent double-observer method. This was accomplished with auditory surveys of ten grassland songbird species native to central Montana. Both inexperienced and experienced volunteer observers were asked to listen to randomly-generated surveys containing the vocalizations of these ten songbirds and identify the species. The decrease in false positive rates using the dependent double-observer method is substantial. Further evaluation will provide information on the effectiveness of the dependent double-observer method in providing more precise and less biased population estimates.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 27th, 11:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:00 PM

Quantifying False Positives in Avian Survey Data

UC South Ballroom

Imperfect detection is a known issue with conducting wildlife surveys. False positive detections, where an individual is counted as present when it truly is not, are often assumed to not occur. This assumption can skew detection rates and create misleading results when calculating population estimates. Survey methods such as the dependent double-observer method developed by Nichols et al. (2000) are suggested to reduce the occurrence of false positives by using two collaborating observers. This study quantified and compared rates of false positives between a single-observer method and the dependent double-observer method. This was accomplished with auditory surveys of ten grassland songbird species native to central Montana. Both inexperienced and experienced volunteer observers were asked to listen to randomly-generated surveys containing the vocalizations of these ten songbirds and identify the species. The decrease in false positive rates using the dependent double-observer method is substantial. Further evaluation will provide information on the effectiveness of the dependent double-observer method in providing more precise and less biased population estimates.