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Context: Reproduction is a critical component of fitness, and understanding factors that influence temporal and spatial dynamics in reproductive output is important for effective management and conservation. Although several indices of reproductive output for wide-ranging species, such as migratory birds, exist, there has been no theoretical justification for their estimators or associated measures of variance. Aims: The aims of our research were to develop statistical justification for an estimator of reproduction and associated variances on the basis of an existing national wing-collection survey and banding data, and to demonstrate the applicability of this estimator to a migratory game bird. Methods: We used...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Research
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Information on change in population size over time is among the most basic inputs for population management. Unfortunately, population changes are generally difficult to identify, and once identified difficult to explain. Sources of variald (patterns) in population data include: changes in environment that affect carrying capaciyy and produce trend, autocorrelative processes, irregular environmentally induced perturbations, and stochasticity arising from population processes. In addition. populations are almost never censused and many surveys (e.g., the North American Breeding Bird Survey) produce multiple, incomplete time series of population indices, providing further sampling complications. We suggest that each...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Population models have great potential as management tools, as they use infonnation about the life history of a species to summarize estimates of fecundity and survival into a description of population change. Models provide a framework for projecting future populations, determining the effects of management decisions on future population dynamics, evaluating extinction probabilities, and addressing a variety of questions of ecological and evolutionary interest. Even when insufficient information exists to allow complete identification of the model, the modelling procedure is useful because it forces the investigator to consider the life history of the species when determining what parameters should be estimated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Two winter bird surveys in Canada have range-wide population monitoring potential: Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) and Project FeederWatch (PFW). CBC trends are shown to be correlated to Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) trends, whether or not part of the winter range lies outside the CBC coverage area. Some species are poorly covered by this survey (e.g. seabirds, nocturnal species, and Neotropical migrants). Only eight Canadian breeding species that are not sampled by the BBS have their winter range well-covered by the CBC, but the CBC should be valuable as an independent source of trend data for many more species, including northern nesters with only marginal BBS coverage. More work is needed to show whether PFW trends...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Inferences about spatial variation in species richness and community composition are important both to ecological hypotheses about the structure and function of communities and to community-level conservation and management. Few sampling programs for animal communities provide censuses, and usually some species present. We present estimators useful for drawing inferences about comparative species richness and composition between different sampling locations when not all species are detected in sampling efforts. Based on capture-recapture models using the robust design, our methods estimate relative species richness, proportion of species in one location that are also found in another, and number of species found...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Over the past decade, bird conservation activities have become the preeminent natural resource conservation effort in North America. Maturation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), establishment of Partners in Flight (PIF), and creation of comprehensive colonial waterbird and shorebird conservation plans have stimulated unprecedented interest in, and funding for, bird conservation in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries in the western hemisphere. Key to that success in the United States has been active collaboration among federal, state and local governments, conservation organizations, academia, and industry. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), which has primary statutory...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Auk
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Although many ecological monitoring programs are now in place, the use of resulting data to draw inferences about changes in biodiversity is problematic. The difficulty arises because of the inability to count all animals present in any sampled area. This inability results not only in underestimation of species richness but also in potentially misleading comparisons of species richness over time and space. We recommend the use of probabilistic estimators for estimating species richness and related parameters (e.g., rate of change in species richness, local extinction probability, local turnover, local colonization) when animal detection probabilities are <1. We illustrate these methods using data from the North...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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We present a combined analysis of data from two large-scale surveys of bird populations. The North American Breeding Bird Survey is conducted each summer; the Christmas Bird Count is conducted in early winter. The temporal staggering of these surveys allows investigation of seasonal components of population change, which we illustrate with an examination of the effects of severe winters on the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Our analysis uses a hierarchical log-linear model with controls for survey-specific sampling covariates. Temporal change in population size is modeled seasonally, with covariates for winter severity. Overall, the winter?spring seasons are associated with 82% of the total population...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Relative to other waterfowl, sea ducks are not well understood, yet evidence from a variety of analyses suggests that as many as 10 of the 15 species of North American sea ducks may be declining in population. However, because of the difficulty of conducting surveys of breeding populations and the lack of range-wide winter surveys, few data are available to assess the population trends of sea ducks with confidence. We analyze Audubon Christmas Bird Count data using hierarchical modeling methods that control for varying effort among circles and over time. These procedures allow us to assess early-winter relative density patterns among states and Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) while also assessing trends in these...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) Callcount Survey and the North American Breeding Bird Survey provide information on population trends of mourning doves throughout the continental United States. Because surveys are an integral part of the development of hunting regulations, a need exists to determine which survey provides precise information. We estimated population trends from 1966 to 1988 by state and dove management unit, and assessed the relative efficiency of each survey. Estimates of population trend differ (P lt 0.05) between surveys in 11 of 48 states; 9 of 11 states with divergent results occur in the Eastern Management Unit. Differences were probably a consequence of smaller sample sizes in the Callcount...
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Population management of waterfowl requires an understanding of the effects of changes in hunting regulations on harvest and survival rates. Mean survival and recovery rates of American black ducks (Anas rubripes) were estimated during 3 periods of increasingly restrictive harvest regulations: 1950-66, 1967-82, and 1983-93. From the first to the second period, direct recovery rates declined for at least 1 age class in 4 of 6 reference areas, with a mean decline of 14% for adult and 7% for immature black ducks. From the second to the third period, direct recovery rates declined in all areas, declines averaging 37% for adults and 27% for immatures. Estimated mean survival rates increased from the first to the second...
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Estimating species richness (i.e. the actual number of species present in a given area) is a basic objective of many field studies carried out in community ecology and is also of crucial concern when dealing with the conservation and management of biodiversity. In most studies, the total number of species recorded in an area at a given time is taken as a measure of species richness. Here we use a capture-recapture approach to species richness estimation with North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data in order to estimate species detectability and thus gain insight about its importance. We carried out analyses on all survey routes of four states, Arizona, Maryland, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, in two years, 1970...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology