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Keywords:

  • Capreolus capreolus;
  • hind foot length;
  • intra-class correlation;
  • observer reliability;
  • repeatability;
  • reproducibility

Abstract: We quantified the repeatability of >900 individual measures of hind foot length from 2 French populations of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) monitored by capture-recapture. We found a high repeatability (i.e., high intra-class correlation, 0.76, 95% CI = 0.72–0.83 and 0.92, 95% CI = 0.91–0.95) in both populations. We also found that inexperienced observers reached a high level of intra- (1.00, 95% CI = 0.96–1.00) and inter-observer repeatability (0.99, 95% CI = 0.98–1.00) when measuring hind foot length of harvested animals with a tool specifically designed for this task. Managers should pay particular attention to limit measurement errors because unreliable measurements require an increased sample size to assess individual variation and can mask biological patterns.