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Ana Nuno, Nils Bunnefeld and E. J. Milner-Gulland Matching observations and reality: using simulation models to improve monitoring under uncertainty in the Serengeti Journal of Applied Ecology 50

Article first published online: 4 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12051

Monitoring efficiency is of the utmost importance for conservation, especially in the context of limited budgets and other priorities. We provide insights into the likely effect of different types of observation and process error on population estimates for savanna ungulates, and more generally present a framework for evaluating monitoring programmes in a virtual environment. In highly aggregated species, the main focus should be on survey precision; sampling effort should be defined according to wildlife spatial distribution. For random or slightly aggregated species, accuracy is the key factor; this is most sensitive to observer effects which should be minimized by training and calibration by observer.

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