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Optimal sampling frequency and timing of threatened tropical bird populations: A modeling approach
Ecological Modelling (2015)
  • John E. Banks
  • H.T. Banks, North Carolina State University
  • Kristen Rinnovatore, North Carolina State University
  • Colin Jackson, A Rocha Kenya
Conservation of threatened or endangered species relies critically on accurate population counts over time. In practice, many population censuses are conducted by non-governmental organizations or volunteer citizen scientists who are constrained by fiscal and temporal resources. Less than optimal sampling regimens (characterized by infrequent and/or irregular schedules) for conducting population censuses can result in woefully misleading population estimates – and thus have dire consequences for management and conservation. We illustrate this using an East African case study in which 14 years of bird data was collected in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in coastal Kenya. We first estimate life history parameters in a discrete matrix model. Desiring a data collection protocol which would lessen observation error and lend to a deeper understanding of population projections and dynamics of a threatened species, we carry out mathematical and statistical modeling efforts with an adaptation of a Leslie model for simulated population estimates stemming from different population sampling schemes. We illustrate how resource managers might take a strategic approach, using simple quantitative models, to develop an optimal sampling scheme that considers important species traits, such as breeding season, and balances the tradeoff between resources and accuracy.
  • Arabuko-Sokoke Forest; Inverse problem; Kenya; Least squares optimization; Leslie matrix; Sheppardia gunningi
Publication Date
Spring 2015
Citation Information
John E. Banks, H.T. Banks, Kristen Rinnovatore and Colin Jackson. "Optimal sampling frequency and timing of threatened tropical bird populations: A modeling approach" Ecological Modelling Vol. 303 (2015) p. 70 - 77
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