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Spatial Capture–Recapture: A Promising Method for Analyzing Data Collected Using Artificial Cover Objects
Herpetologica (2016)
  • Chris Sutherland, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • David Mun'Oz
  • David Miller
  • Evan Grant
Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) is a relatively recent development in ecological statistics that provides a spatial context for estimating abundance and space use patterns, and improves inference about absolute population density. SCR has been applied to individual
encounter data collected noninvasively using methods such as camera traps, hair snares, and scat surveys. Despite the widespread use of capture based surveys to monitor amphibians and reptiles, there are few applications of SCR in the herpetological literature. We demonstrate the utility of the application of SCR for studies of reptiles and amphibians by analyzing capture–recapture data from Red-Backed Salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, collected using artificial cover boards. Using SCR to analyze spatial encounter histories of marked individuals, we found evidence that density differed little among four sites within the same forest (on average, 1.59 salamanders/m2) and that salamander detection probability peaked
in early October (Julian day 278) reflecting expected surface activity patterns of the species. The spatial scale of detectability, a measure of space use, indicates that the home range size for this population of Red-Backed Salamanders in autumn was 16.89 m2. Surveying reptiles and amphibians using artificial cover boards regularly generates spatial encounter history data of known individuals, which can readily be analyzed using SCR methods, providing estimates of absolute density and inference about the spatial scale of habitat use.
  • Abundance,
  • Amphibian,
  • Cover boards,
  • Density,
  • Detection,
  • Home range,
  • Plethodon cinereus,
  • New York,
  • Red-Backed Salamanders,
  • Spatially explicit capture–recapture
Publication Date
Winter January, 2016
Citation Information
Chris Sutherland, David Mun'Oz, David Miller and Evan Grant. "Spatial Capture–Recapture: A Promising Method for Analyzing Data Collected Using Artificial Cover Objects" Herpetologica Vol. 72 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 6 - 12
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