When is enough enough? Effective sampling protocols for estimating the survival rates of seabirds with mark-recapture techniques.

Author(s): Horswill C., Humphreys E.M., Robinson R.A.

Published: 2 September 2018

Journal: Bird Study

Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1080/000636657.2018.151691

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Lower intensity mark-recapture studies, such as those undertaken by citizen scientists, provide an opportunity to improve the spatial representation of survival estimates for birds. Colonial nesting birds are particularly suited to this because, for many species, large numbers of breeding birds and chicks can be located relatively easily. The minimum level of recapture effort required to accurately estimate true survival rates and detect temporal variation largely depended on the respective ringing effort. Therefore, mark-recapture studies should consider both aspects of the field study when setting or adjusting minimum effort guidelines. Furthermore, achieving reliable estimation with short time-series required more intensive survey designs, highlighting the importance of longevity when planning these studies.

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