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Using a general index approach to analyze camera-trap abundance indices

Authors

  • Andrew J. Bengsen,

    Corresponding author
    1. The University of Queensland; The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre; and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Aitkenvale, QLD, Australia
    Current affiliation:
    1. NSW Department of Industry and Investment, Forest Road, Orange, NSW, Australia.
    • The University of Queensland; The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre; and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Aitkenvale, QLD, Australia.
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  • Luke K.-P. Leung,

    1. The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
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  • Steven J. Lapidge,

    1. Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, 48 Oxford Terrace, Unley, SA 5061, Australia
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  • Iain J. Gordon

    1. CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Current affiliation:
    1. The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie DD2 5DA, UK.
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  • Associate Editor: Bruce Thompson

Abstract

The lack of variance estimates constrain the utility of abundance indices calculated from camera-trap data. We adapted a General Index model, which allows variance estimation, to analyze camera-trap observations of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) for population monitoring in a tropical rainforest. We tested whether the index would respond to population manipulation, and found that it decreased by 57% following removal of 24 pigs and remained low in the following period. Our method is useful for monitoring other large animals in difficult landscapes, and the model can be used to enhance the value of existing data sets. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

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