Empirically simulated study to compare and validate sampling methods used in aerial surveys of wildlife populations

  • Khaemba W
  • Stein A
  • Rasch D
 et al. 
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This paper compares the distribution, sampling and estimationof abundance for twoanimal species inanAfrican ecosystem by means of an intensive simulation of the sampling process under a geographical information system( GIS) environment. It focuses on systematic and random sampling designs, commonly used in wild- life surveys, comparing their performance to an adaptive design at three increasing sampling intensities, using the root mean square errors (RMSE). It further assesses the impact of sampling designs and intensities on estimates of population parameters. The simulation is based on data collected during a prior survey, inwhich geographical locations of all observed animals were recorded. This provides more detailed data than that usually available from transect surveys. The results show precision of estimates to increase with increasing sampling intensity, while no signi¢cant di¡erences are observed between estimates obtained under random and systematic designs.An increase inprecision is observed for the adaptive design, thereby validating the use of this design for sampling clustered populations. The study illustrates the bene¢ts of combining statistical methodswithGIS techniques toincrease insight intowildlifepopulationdynamics.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptive design
  • Laikipia
  • Simulation
  • Wildlife sampling

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  • Wilson Mwale Khaemba

  • Alfred Stein

  • Dieter Rasch

  • Jan De Leeuw

  • Nick Georgiadis

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