Bayesian Modeling of Age-Specific Survival in Nesting Studies Under Dirichlet Priors




Summary. There has been much work done in nest survival analysis using the maximum likelihood (ML) method. The ML method suffers from the instability of numerical calculations when models having a large number of unknown parameters are used. A Bayesian approach of model fitting is developed to estimate age-specific survival rates for nesting studies using a large class of prior distributions. The computation is done by Gibbs sampling. Some latent variables are introduced to simplify the full conditional distributions. The method is illustrated using both a real and a simulated data set. Results indicate that Bayesian analysis provides stable and accurate estimates of nest survival rates.