A GENERAL CLASS OF MULTINOMIAL MIXTURE MODELS FOR ANURAN CALLING SURVEY DATA

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Abstract

We propose a general framework for modeling anuran abundance using data collected from commonly used calling surveys. The data generated from calling surveys are indices of calling intensity (vocalization of males) that do not have a precise link to actual population size and are sensitive to factors that influence anuran behavior. We formulate a model for calling-index data in terms of the maximum potential calling index that could be observed at a site (the “latent abundance class”), given its underlying breeding population, and we focus attention on estimating the distribution of this latent abundance class. A critical consideration in estimating the latent structure is imperfect detection, which causes the observed abundance index to be less than or equal to the latent abundance class. We specify a multinomial sampling model for the observed abundance index that is conditional on the latent abundance class. Estimation of the latent abundance class distribution is based on the marginal likelihood of the index data, having integrated over the latent class distribution. We apply the proposed modeling framework to data collected as part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP).

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