On the Bayesian Estimation of a Closed Population Size in the Presence of Heterogeneity and Model Uncertainty

Ruth King, S P Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We consider the estimation of the size of a closed population, often of interest for wild animal populations, using a capture-recapture study. The estimate of the total population size can be very sensitive to the choice of model used to fit to the data. We consider a Bayesian approach, in which we consider all eight plausible models initially described by Otis et al. (1978, Wildlife Monographs 62, 1-135) within a single framework, including models containing an individual heterogeneity component. We show how we are able to obtain a model-averaged estimate of the total population, incorporating both parameter and model uncertainty. To illustrate the methodology we initially perform a simulation study and analyze two datasets where the population size is known, before considering a real example relating to a population of dolphins off northeast Scotland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-824
Number of pages9
JournalBiometrics
Volume64
Issue number3
Early online date28 Nov 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008

Keywords

  • Bayesian approach
  • heterogeneity
  • model-averaging
  • population size
  • reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo
  • CAPTURE-RECAPTURE MODELS
  • SELECTION
  • PROBABILITIES
  • DEPENDENCE
  • ABUNDANCE
  • VARY

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