ESTIMATED POPULATION SIZE OF THE CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALE

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Abstract

Abstract: The 1987-1988 counts of gray whales passing Monterey are reanalyzed to provide a revised population size estimate. The double count data are modeled using iterative logistic regression to allow for the effects of various covariates on probability of detection, and a correction factor is introduced for night rate of travel. The revised absolute population size estimate is 20,869 animals, with CV = 4.37% and 95% confidence interval (19,200, 22,700). In addition the series of relative population size estimates from 1967-1968 to 1987-1988 is scaled to pass through this estimate and modeled to provide variance estimates from interannual variation in population size estimates. This method yields an alternative population size estimate for 1987-1988 of 21,296 animals, with CV = 6.05% and 95% confidence interval (18,900, 24,000). The average annual rate of increase between 1967-1968 and 1987-1988 was estimated to be 3.29% with standard error 0.44%.

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