Evaluation of four methods used to estimate population density of moose Alces alces
2008 (English)In: Wildlife Biology, ISSN 0909-6396, Vol. 14, no 3, 358-371 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Various survey methods are used to monitor and manage ungulate popualations. The choice of optimal method depends on estimation accuracy, management objective and financial constraints. Here we compare estimates produced by four different methods for estimating population size, i.e. aerial counts, hunter observations, pellet group counts and cohort analysis. A Swedish moose Alces alces population was studied during 1973-2005 in the Grimso Wildlife Research Area (135 km(2)). The highest correlation was found between cohort analysis and aerial counts (r = 0.69. P < 0.05). and the hunter observations and the aerial counts (r = 0.76. P < 0.10). The different methods produced relatively consistent trends in population estimates over years. Pellet group counts prior to 1997 were not significantly correlated with the other methods. probably due to unrepresentative spatial sampling. A comparison of the aerial and pellet group counts in 2002 and 2006, showed that the average defecation rate was estimated at approximately 14 pellet groups per day per moose. Our results show the importance of having representative spatial sampling in pellet group surveys and indicate that hunter observations can be a useful tool for estimating long-term population trends even in moderately sized areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 14, no 3, 358-371 p.
arterial count, cohort analysis, deer, hunter observations, management, monitoring, pellet group counts
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107106DOI: 10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14[358:EOFMUT]2.0.CO;2ISI: 000260409700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107106DiVA: diva2:227679