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Tiger breakthrough: Camera trap time stamps provide valuable data for conservationist

Date:
May 18, 2017
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Spatial capture-recapture model analysis is often used to estimate tiger abundance. A new study, however, finds that dates and times of animal detections are often not factored into the analysis. This is despite the fact that this data is available when using 'continuous-time' recorders such as camera-traps.
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This is a tiger photographed by camera-trap.
Credit: Ullas Karanth/WCS

Spatial capture-recapture model analysis is often used to estimate tiger abundance. A new study led by Dr. Robert Dorazio of the United States Geological Survey, and co-authored by WCS's Dr.Ullas Karanth, however, finds that dates and times of animal detections are often not factored into the analysis. This is despite the fact that this data is available when using "continuous-time" recorders such as camera-traps.

Dr. Robert Dorazio said, "Modeling capture times of tigers and other large carnivores uses all of the information in the data and gives us a chance to learn more about the behaviors and movements of these animals -- information that is crucial to their conservation."

A short video features Dr. Karanth discussing how this study might change that thinking and benefit scientists. Says Karanth: "We are now able to exactly incorporate the time of capture into the data analysis. This gives us more power to mimic nature in the sense of how tigers actually get 'trapped' in cameras, and how their movement, behavior, and space-use relate to time. This is a significant advance."

Because 70 percent of wild tigers are concentrated in less than 6 percent of remaining habitats, it is critical to efficiently manage these areas for tiger use.


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Materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert M. Dorazio, K. Ullas Karanth. A hierarchical model for estimating the spatial distribution and abundance of animals detected by continuous-time recorders. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (5): e0176966 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176966

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Tiger breakthrough: Camera trap time stamps provide valuable data for conservationist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170518104111.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2017, May 18). Tiger breakthrough: Camera trap time stamps provide valuable data for conservationist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170518104111.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Tiger breakthrough: Camera trap time stamps provide valuable data for conservationist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170518104111.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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