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Line-Transect Sampling, New Approaches

Ecological Statistics

  1. Gavin Melville1,
  2. Ann Cowling2

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.val013.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Melville, G. and Cowling, A. 2013. Line-Transect Sampling, New Approaches. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Trangie Agricultural Research Centre, New South Wales, Australia

  2. 2

    Charles Sturt University, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


The widespread use of line-transect surveys to estimate the abundance of ecological populations has seen a number of new developments in methodology. For example, nonparametric approaches have been introduced to estimate detection probabilities for objects in the target population. Also line-transect data have been increasingly used to study a range of spatial models that may be of interest to ecologists. The treatment of measurement errors and recent sampling innovations such as sequential and adaptive sampling have increased the flexibility of the line-transect approach and provided more robust estimates of abundance. Debate over an appropriate frame of inference, specifically design-based versus model-based, is a motivation for alternative estimation techniques such as mark–recapture and the use of Bayesian statistics. This article summarizes some of the recent developments in line-transect sampling.


  • line-transect sampling;
  • kernel density;
  • mark–recapture;
  • Bayesian methods;
  • spatial distribution;
  • measurement error