Integrated modeling to estimate population size and composition of mule deer

Brett J. Furnas, Russ H. Landers, Scott Hill, Stuart S. Itoga, Benjamin Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Estimating population size, age composition, and sex ratio of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is important to conservation and managed hunting of this species in the western United States. Increasingly, wildlife agencies are estimating abundance of deer using fecal DNA (fDNA), especially in forested habitats where aerial surveys are not feasible. These same data can be used to estimate overall sex ratio but require additional data on age structure to quantify adult- and fawn-specific sex ratios, which are expected to differ substantially. We demonstrate an integrated modeling approach to estimating population sizes of adult females, adult males, and fawns from 3 sources of data: fDNA, camera stations, and global positioning system (GPS) telemetry. We conducted the study on an 11,500-km2 forested region in northern California, USA, corresponding to 3 hunt management zones. Within a Bayesian framework, we used spatial capture–recapture (SCR) modeling of fDNA samples and prior information on home range sizes from telemetry to estimate sex-specific densities, and N-mixture modeling of camera detections to separate adult and fawn densities. We estimated 29,317 adult females (90% CI = 24,550–34,592), 10,845 adult males (90% CI = 7,778–14,858), and 19,587 fawns (90% CI = 15,340–24,430) within the study area. The inclusion of telemetry increased precision of our results, and cameras provided comparable estimates of density when we calibrated them on the SCR results. Based on these results, we recommend a monitoring program of fDNA transects repeated once every 5 years, camera stations repeated at half of transects every year, and telemetry data from 1 deer for every 2 transects on average. We estimated an average annual cost of $1,316 (U.S.) per transect to sustain this endeavor. The integration of cameras with fDNA to combine age structure data with sex-specific abundance data represents a novel and significant step forward in the capacity to estimate deer population parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1441
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume82
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Fingerprint

Odocoileus hemionus
deer
population size
fawns
cameras
telemetry
DNA
transect
age structure
sex ratio
modeling
aerial survey
gender
global positioning systems
Western United States
home range
hunting
range size
wildlife
GPS

Keywords

  • cameras
  • costs
  • density
  • fecal DNA
  • monitoring
  • N-mixture model
  • spatial capture–recapture
  • telemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Integrated modeling to estimate population size and composition of mule deer. / Furnas, Brett J.; Landers, Russ H.; Hill, Scott; Itoga, Stuart S.; Sacks, Benjamin.

In: Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 82, No. 7, 01.09.2018, p. 1429-1441.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Furnas, Brett J. ; Landers, Russ H. ; Hill, Scott ; Itoga, Stuart S. ; Sacks, Benjamin. / Integrated modeling to estimate population size and composition of mule deer. In: Journal of Wildlife Management. 2018 ; Vol. 82, No. 7. pp. 1429-1441.
@article{f07a067bc136469483f8cb7e7e3a0618,
title = "Integrated modeling to estimate population size and composition of mule deer",
abstract = "Estimating population size, age composition, and sex ratio of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is important to conservation and managed hunting of this species in the western United States. Increasingly, wildlife agencies are estimating abundance of deer using fecal DNA (fDNA), especially in forested habitats where aerial surveys are not feasible. These same data can be used to estimate overall sex ratio but require additional data on age structure to quantify adult- and fawn-specific sex ratios, which are expected to differ substantially. We demonstrate an integrated modeling approach to estimating population sizes of adult females, adult males, and fawns from 3 sources of data: fDNA, camera stations, and global positioning system (GPS) telemetry. We conducted the study on an 11,500-km2 forested region in northern California, USA, corresponding to 3 hunt management zones. Within a Bayesian framework, we used spatial capture–recapture (SCR) modeling of fDNA samples and prior information on home range sizes from telemetry to estimate sex-specific densities, and N-mixture modeling of camera detections to separate adult and fawn densities. We estimated 29,317 adult females (90{\%} CI = 24,550–34,592), 10,845 adult males (90{\%} CI = 7,778–14,858), and 19,587 fawns (90{\%} CI = 15,340–24,430) within the study area. The inclusion of telemetry increased precision of our results, and cameras provided comparable estimates of density when we calibrated them on the SCR results. Based on these results, we recommend a monitoring program of fDNA transects repeated once every 5 years, camera stations repeated at half of transects every year, and telemetry data from 1 deer for every 2 transects on average. We estimated an average annual cost of $1,316 (U.S.) per transect to sustain this endeavor. The integration of cameras with fDNA to combine age structure data with sex-specific abundance data represents a novel and significant step forward in the capacity to estimate deer population parameters.",
keywords = "cameras, costs, density, fecal DNA, monitoring, N-mixture model, spatial capture–recapture, telemetry",
author = "Furnas, {Brett J.} and Landers, {Russ H.} and Scott Hill and Itoga, {Stuart S.} and Benjamin Sacks",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/jwmg.21507",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "82",
pages = "1429--1441",
journal = "Journal of Wildlife Management",
issn = "0022-541X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Integrated modeling to estimate population size and composition of mule deer

AU - Furnas, Brett J.

AU - Landers, Russ H.

AU - Hill, Scott

AU - Itoga, Stuart S.

AU - Sacks, Benjamin

PY - 2018/9/1

Y1 - 2018/9/1

N2 - Estimating population size, age composition, and sex ratio of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is important to conservation and managed hunting of this species in the western United States. Increasingly, wildlife agencies are estimating abundance of deer using fecal DNA (fDNA), especially in forested habitats where aerial surveys are not feasible. These same data can be used to estimate overall sex ratio but require additional data on age structure to quantify adult- and fawn-specific sex ratios, which are expected to differ substantially. We demonstrate an integrated modeling approach to estimating population sizes of adult females, adult males, and fawns from 3 sources of data: fDNA, camera stations, and global positioning system (GPS) telemetry. We conducted the study on an 11,500-km2 forested region in northern California, USA, corresponding to 3 hunt management zones. Within a Bayesian framework, we used spatial capture–recapture (SCR) modeling of fDNA samples and prior information on home range sizes from telemetry to estimate sex-specific densities, and N-mixture modeling of camera detections to separate adult and fawn densities. We estimated 29,317 adult females (90% CI = 24,550–34,592), 10,845 adult males (90% CI = 7,778–14,858), and 19,587 fawns (90% CI = 15,340–24,430) within the study area. The inclusion of telemetry increased precision of our results, and cameras provided comparable estimates of density when we calibrated them on the SCR results. Based on these results, we recommend a monitoring program of fDNA transects repeated once every 5 years, camera stations repeated at half of transects every year, and telemetry data from 1 deer for every 2 transects on average. We estimated an average annual cost of $1,316 (U.S.) per transect to sustain this endeavor. The integration of cameras with fDNA to combine age structure data with sex-specific abundance data represents a novel and significant step forward in the capacity to estimate deer population parameters.

AB - Estimating population size, age composition, and sex ratio of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is important to conservation and managed hunting of this species in the western United States. Increasingly, wildlife agencies are estimating abundance of deer using fecal DNA (fDNA), especially in forested habitats where aerial surveys are not feasible. These same data can be used to estimate overall sex ratio but require additional data on age structure to quantify adult- and fawn-specific sex ratios, which are expected to differ substantially. We demonstrate an integrated modeling approach to estimating population sizes of adult females, adult males, and fawns from 3 sources of data: fDNA, camera stations, and global positioning system (GPS) telemetry. We conducted the study on an 11,500-km2 forested region in northern California, USA, corresponding to 3 hunt management zones. Within a Bayesian framework, we used spatial capture–recapture (SCR) modeling of fDNA samples and prior information on home range sizes from telemetry to estimate sex-specific densities, and N-mixture modeling of camera detections to separate adult and fawn densities. We estimated 29,317 adult females (90% CI = 24,550–34,592), 10,845 adult males (90% CI = 7,778–14,858), and 19,587 fawns (90% CI = 15,340–24,430) within the study area. The inclusion of telemetry increased precision of our results, and cameras provided comparable estimates of density when we calibrated them on the SCR results. Based on these results, we recommend a monitoring program of fDNA transects repeated once every 5 years, camera stations repeated at half of transects every year, and telemetry data from 1 deer for every 2 transects on average. We estimated an average annual cost of $1,316 (U.S.) per transect to sustain this endeavor. The integration of cameras with fDNA to combine age structure data with sex-specific abundance data represents a novel and significant step forward in the capacity to estimate deer population parameters.

KW - cameras

KW - costs

KW - density

KW - fecal DNA

KW - monitoring

KW - N-mixture model

KW - spatial capture–recapture

KW - telemetry

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85052114973&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85052114973&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/jwmg.21507

DO - 10.1002/jwmg.21507

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85052114973

VL - 82

SP - 1429

EP - 1441

JO - Journal of Wildlife Management

JF - Journal of Wildlife Management

SN - 0022-541X

IS - 7

ER -