Spatial Capture–Recapture: A Promising Method for Analyzing Data Collected Using Artificial Cover Objects

TitleSpatial Capture–Recapture: A Promising Method for Analyzing Data Collected Using Artificial Cover Objects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSutherland, Chris S., Muñoz David J., Miller David A. W., and Grant Evan H. Campbel
JournalHerpetologica
Volume72
Issue1
Pagination6 - 12
Date PublishedJan-03-2016
ISSN0018-0831
Keywordscover, data collection, Salamanders, SCR, spatial capture-recapture
Abstract

Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) is a relatively recent development in ecological statistics that provides a spatial context for estimating abundance and space use patterns, and improves inference about absolute population density. SCR has been applied to individual encounter data collected noninvasively using methods such as camera traps, hair snares, and scat surveys. Despite the widespread use of capture-based surveys to monitor amphibians and reptiles, there are few applications of SCR in the herpetological literature. We demonstrate the utility of the application of SCR for studies of reptiles and amphibians by analyzing capture–recapture data from Red-Backed Salamanders,Plethodon cinereus, collected using artificial cover boards. Using SCR to analyze spatial encounter histories of marked individuals, we found evidence that density differed little among four sites within the same forest (on average, 1.59 salamanders/m2) and that salamander detection probability peaked in early October (Julian day 278) reflecting expected surface activity patterns of the species. The spatial scale of detectability, a measure of space use, indicates that the home range size for this population of Red-Backed Salamanders in autumn was 16.89 m2. Surveying reptiles and amphibians using artificial cover boards regularly generates spatial encounter history data of known individuals, which can readily be analyzed using SCR methods, providing estimates of absolute density and inference about the spatial scale of habitat use.

URLhttp://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-15-00027
DOI10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-15-00027
Short TitleHerpetologica