Making use of multiple surveys : estimating breeding probability using a multievent‐robust design capture–recapture model

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dc.contributor.author Oosthuizen, W.C. (Wessel Christiaan)
dc.contributor.author Pradel, Roger
dc.contributor.author Bester, Marthan Nieuwoudt
dc.contributor.author De Bruyn, P.J. Nico
dc.date.accessioned 2020-07-31T12:54:29Z
dc.date.available 2020-07-31T12:54:29Z
dc.date.issued 2019-01
dc.description © 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Increased environmental stochasticity due to climate change will intensify temporal variance in the life‐history traits, and especially breeding probabilities, of long‐lived iteroparous species. These changes may decrease individual fitness and population viability and is therefore important to monitor. In wild animal populations with imperfect individual detection, breeding probabilities are best estimated using capture–recapture methods. However, in many vertebrate species (e.g., amphibians, turtles, seabirds), nonbreeders are unobservable because they are not tied to a territory or breeding location. Although unobservable states can be used to model temporary emigration of nonbreeders, there are disadvantages to having unobservable states in capture–recapture models. The best solution to deal with unobservable life‐history states is therefore to eliminate them altogether. Here, we achieve this objective by fitting novel multievent‐robust design models which utilize information obtained from multiple surveys conducted throughout the year. We use this approach to estimate annual breeding probabilities of capital breeding female elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Conceptually, our approach parallels a multistate version of the Barker/robust design in that it combines robust design capture data collected during discrete breeding seasons with observations made at other times of the year. A substantial advantage of our approach is that the nonbreeder state became “observable” when multiple data sources were analyzed together. This allowed us to test for the existence of state‐dependent survival (with some support found for lower survival in breeders compared to nonbreeders), and to estimate annual breeding transitions to and from the nonbreeder state with greater precision (where current breeders tended to have higher future breeding probabilities than nonbreeders). We used program E‐SURGE (2.1.2) to fit the multievent‐robust design models, with uncertainty in breeding state assignment (breeder, nonbreeder) being incorporated via a hidden Markov process. This flexible modeling approach can easily be adapted to suit sampling designs from numerous species which may be encountered during and outside of discrete breeding seasons. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2020 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Department of Science and Technology of South Africa provided funding through the National Research Foundation (NRF). en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.ecolevol.org en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Oosthuizen W.C., Pradel R., Bester M.N. et al. 2019, 'Making use of multiple surveys : estimating breeding probability using a multievent‐robust design capture–recapture model', Ecology and Evolution, vol.9, no. 2, pp. 836–848. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2045-7758 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1002/ece3.4828
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/75528
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley Open Access en_ZA
dc.rights © The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. en_ZA
dc.subject Auxiliary data en_ZA
dc.subject Breeding propensity en_ZA
dc.subject Incidental observations en_ZA
dc.subject Intermittent breeding en_ZA
dc.subject Robust design en_ZA
dc.subject Unobservable state en_ZA
dc.subject Elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) en_ZA
dc.title Making use of multiple surveys : estimating breeding probability using a multievent‐robust design capture–recapture model en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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