Bachelor of Science
School or Department
Wildlife Biology – Terrestrial
Dr. Victoria J. Dreitz
Faculty Mentor Department
Dr. Chad Bishop, Dr. Mike Mitchell
False positive, detection, survey method, avian survey, dependent double-observer method
Ornithology | Population Biology
Imperfect detection is a known issue when conducting count-based surveys in wildlife studies. False positive detections, observed occurrences of individuals that truly are not present, are often assumed to not occur. This assumption can bias detection rates and create misleading results when calculating population estimates. Survey methods such as the dependent double-observer method are suggested to reduce the occurrence of false positives (Nichols et al. 2000). My study quantified and compared rates of false positives in a single-observer method and a dependent double-observer method using computer-generated auditory surveys. I categorized volunteer observers as either inexperienced or experienced and asked them to identify vocalizations of ten grassland songbird species native to central Montana. False positive rates of experienced observers declined from 0.095 in single-observer surveys to 0.032 in dependent double-observer surveys. False positive rates of inexperienced observers declined from 0.511 in single-observer surveys to 0.391 in dependent double-observer surveys. Further evaluation will provide information on the effectiveness of the dependent double-observer method in providing more precise and less biased population estimates.
Honors College Research Project
Strickfaden, Kaitlyn M., "Quantifying False Positives in Avian Survey Data" (2018). Undergraduate Theses and Professional Papers. 201.
© Copyright 2018 Kaitlyn M. Strickfaden