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Loglinear Models for the Robust Design in Mark–Recapture Experiments




Summary.  The robust design is a method for implementing a mark–recapture experiment featuring a nested sampling structure. The first level consists of primary sampling sessions; the population experiences mortality and immigration between primary sessions so that open population models apply at this level. The second level of sampling has a short mark–recapture study within each primary session. Closed population models are used at this stage to estimate the animal abundance at each primary session. This article suggests a loglinear technique to fit the robust design. Loglinear models for the analysis of mark–recapture data from closed and open populations are first reviewed. These two types of models are then combined to analyze the data from a robust design. The proposed loglinear approach to the robust design allows incorporating parameters for a heterogeneity in the capture probabilities of the units within each primary session. Temporary emigration out of the study area can also be accounted for in the loglinear framework. The analysis is relatively simple; it relies on a large Poisson regression with the vector of frequencies of the capture histories as dependent variable. An example concerned with the estimation of abundance and survival of the red-back vole in an area of southeastern Québec is presented.