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Managing large carnivores is one of the most controversial issues in wildlife conservation, as the sociopolitical challenges it raises are as important as the biological ones. Such controversial issues in wildlife conservation require objective biological components to be implemented within the management decision process, in particular a reliable way of estimating trends in abundance. However, these species usually exhibit territoriality, low densities, and social constraints that can generate individual detection heterogeneity (IDH) of methodological (sampling) or biological (social status, marking behavior) origin. If not accounted for, IDH can lead, in turn, to strong bias in the estimation of population abundance. As a complement to population size, we propose to use the population growth rate (k) estimated with capture–recapture (CR) data, a robust method to detect and account for IDH, to monitor and manage elusive species.
Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage
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