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Pfeffer, Sabine, 2016. Comparison of three different indirect methods to evaluate ungulate population densities. Second cycle, A1E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies



Reliable species population estimates are important for population conservation and management. Information about population sizes is needed to introduce certain preservation and regulation approaches. Several different methods, both performed in the field and analytical, can be used to estimate species densities. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate densities of moose (Alces alces), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and fallow deer (Dama dama) in a confined area in Västerbotten, Sweden, via three different non-invasive wildlife census methods: camera trapping, traditional dung pellet group counts, and DNA-based ID-ing of dung samples. Due to analytical problems in the lab, the latter method was excluded from any further analysis. Species densities were estimated via the Random Encounter Model (REM) from recorded pictures of camera traps. Further investigations from camera trap data were made to compare sex-ratio, day- and night-capture events, the influence of snow depth and the use of habitat type among the ungulate species. Density estimates of dung counts considered the defecation rate of each species and the accumulation period of dung. For moose, camera traps yielded a population estimate similar to dung counts. However, estimated densities from the dung count approach were much lower for all other three ungulate species than densities from the camera trapping. Even though the use of camera traps is more time consuming and costly, this method is evaluated as a trustworthy estimator of population sizes. In addition, further information about habitat associations, activity patterns, behaviour, or community structure can be successfully accomplished.

Main title:Comparison of three different indirect methods to evaluate ungulate population densities
Authors:Pfeffer, Sabine
Supervisor:Cromsigt, Joris and Spong, Göran and Singh, Navinder and Spitzer, Robert
Examiner:Thulin, Carl-Gustaf
Series:Examensarbete i ämnet biologi / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2016:13
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:wildlife ecology, density estimates, camera trapping - random encounter model, dung pellet group counts
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Surveying methods
Deposited On:23 Sep 2016 14:15
Metadata Last Modified:18 Jan 2017 12:49

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