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Theoretical Basis for Estimating Deer Population from Automatically Collected Data

O. Dayle Sittler
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr., 1965), pp. 381-387
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3798445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3798445
Page Count: 7
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Theoretical Basis for Estimating Deer Population from Automatically Collected Data
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Abstract

Development of devices for automatically detecting and counting the passage of deer (Odocoileus virginianus) across a fixed boundary line is currently being carried out at the Welder Wildlife Foundation. A theory for combining data from such a line-crossing detector with knowledge about behavior of deer to yield an estimate for deer population density was derived by developing a simple model for the behavior pattern of a deer in which a deer's movements were considered as a sequence of trips. This behavior model has been analyzed to find a relation for population density in terms of the number of trips crossing a line-crossing detector. The population density would then be given by the number of counts per unit length of boundary line divided by a factor depending upon the average behavior pattern of deer in the region around the detector. The largest errors in a census estimate based upon this technique would arise from the variability of behavior patterns. New knowledge about the effects of weather and other environmental factors on behavior patterns can be incorporated into the analysis to improve the reliability of census estimates.

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