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Correcting for Visibility Bias in Strip Transect Aerial Surveys of Aquatic Fauna

H. Marsh and D. F. Sinclair
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 53, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 1017-1024
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809604
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809604
Page Count: 8
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Correcting for Visibility Bias in Strip Transect Aerial Surveys of Aquatic Fauna
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Abstract

We develop methodology for correcting for visibility bias by calculating and applying survey-specific correction factors in strip transect aerial surveys of aquatic fauna and incorporating their associated errors into the population estimate. The technique is applicable at all densities of the target species. Perception bias (the proportion of groups of the target species that are visible in the transect yet missed by observers) is corrected for using a modified Petersen estimate calculated for each of 2 teams of 2 observers with 1 team on either side of the aircraft. Within a team, each observer reports their uncolluded observations into a separate track of a 2-track tape recorder, so that after the survey, each group can be characterized as being seen by only 1 (specified) or both members of the team. A correction factor is also suggested to standardize for the proportion of animals that are unavailable to observers because of water turbidity.

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