MSORD abundance definition

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MSORD abundance definition

Postby violetblue » Tue Feb 01, 2022 1:55 am


Just hoping someone can confirm my understanding of the abundance estimate in MSORD is correct.

As in the example in Chapter 15 of the guide, I have transients and residents, with one observable nesting state and one unobservable skipping state.

It seems to me the estimate of abundance from this model in any season must be transient + resident adult female nesters, and not include the skipping females since most parameters for the skipping state are necessarily set to zero.

The one exception being survival in the skipping state which is set equal to survival in the nesting state for the sole reason of estimating probability of skipping, but not abundance of those skipping.

However, I've been asked to estimate total adult female population abundance (nesters + skippers).
I think this can't be done, but I'd be grateful for any advice.
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Re: MSORD abundance definition

Postby Bill Kendall » Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:41 pm

You are correct that the abundance estimate from the MSORD model applies only to the number in observable states (nesters). This model is fully described in Kendall et al. (2020, Ecological Monographs). In that same paper we discuss the issue of estimating total abundance for this case you describe. If nesting probability were completely random (nesting probability this year is the same for those that did or did not nest last year), then total abundance would just be (nester abundance)/(nesting probability). The more common case of Markovian nesting probabilities requires a more complicated derivation based on the dynamics of the population, including an estimate of annual recruitment to the nesting state. We estimate this value for a population of hawksbill sea turtles in the paper, but we were comfortable doing so because we had reliable estimates of recruitment.
Bill Kendall
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