I just want to count them! Considerations when choosing a deer population monitoring method

Amos, Matthew and Baxter, Greg and Finch, Neal and Lisle, Allan and Murray, Peter ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1143-1706 (2014) I just want to count them! Considerations when choosing a deer population monitoring method. Wildlife Biology, 20 (6). pp. 362-370. ISSN 0909-6396

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Abstract

Effective management of any population involves decisions based on the levels of abundance at particular points in time. Hence the choice of an appropriate method to estimate abundance is critical. Deer are not native to Australia and are a declared pest in some states where their numbers must be controlled in environmentally sensitive areas. The aim of this research was to help Australian land managers choose between widely used methods to count deer. We compared population estimates or indices from: distance sampling, aerial surveys, spotlight counts, and faecal pellet counts. For each we estimated the labour input, cost, and precision. The coefficient of variation varied with method and time of year from 8.7 to 36.6%. Total labour input per sampling event varied from 11 to 136 h. Total costs of vehicles and equipment per sampling event varied from AU$913 to $2966. Overall, the spotlight method performed the best at our study site when comparing labour input, total cost and precision. However, choice of the most precise, cost effective method will be site specific and rely on information collected from a pilot study. We provide recommendations to help land managers choose between possible methods in various circumstances.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors. This is an Open Access article.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 05:19
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 00:28
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060809 Vertebrate Biology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310914 Vertebrate biology
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00080
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43274

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