(1) The life table model is frequently employed in the analysis of ringer samples of young in bird populations. The basic model is biologically unrealistic and of little use in making inferences concerning age-specific survival probabilities.
(2) This model rests on a number of restrictive assumptions, the failure of which causes serious biases. Several important assumptions are not met with real data and the estimators of age-specific survival are not robust enough to these failures.
(3) Five major problems in the use of the life table method are reviewed. Examples are provided to illustrate several of the problems involved in using this method in making inferences about survival rates and its age-specific nature.
(4) We conclude that this is an invalid procedure and it should not be used. Furthermore, ringing studies involving only young birds are pointless as regards survival estimation because no valid method exists for estimating age-specific or time-specific survival rates from such data.
(5) In our view, inferences about age-specific survival rates are possible only if both young and adult (or young, subadult and adult) age classes are ringed each year for k years (k ≥ 2).
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Potential Metadata Source
|series||unknown||Journal of Animal Ecology|
|journal||Journal of Animal Ecology|