ESTIMATING SEA OTTER REPRODUCTIVE RATES

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Abstract

Abstract: Sea otters may give birth in any month of the year, so obtaining reproductive rates by observation is difficult. Reproductive rates may be estimated directly (births per otter-year observed) or by determining the time interval between births. Both methods give the same result for long sequences of observations, but field data are limited to shorter periods. Monte Carlo simulations were conducted to compare the two approaches, and showed that the interval method overestimates true reproductive rates.

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