Comparison of plot survey and distance sampling as pellet group counts for deer in Sweden
Wildlife management deals with problems concerning sustainable harvest, conservation of threatened species and adjustment of wildlife populations to levels acceptable to for instance forestry, agriculture, traffic and conservation interests. A detailed knowledge of the population is then required. It is therefore important to develop reliable and cost-efficient survey methods.The purpose of this study was to test the distance sampling method where objects are observed while walking along a line, as a way of counting deer pellet groups and to compare the results with ordinary plot surveys.The inventory speed for distance sampling increases with increasing amount of droppings/km2. The amount of droppings seems to have little or no effect on the inventory speed of the plot survey method. Therefore the plot survey method could be a better alternative than the distance sampling method when the densities of droppings are high and vice versa.When comparing the two methods estimates of animal densities with data (orally) from game managers based on other surveys and flying observations and estimations in the different areas, both methods showed too low density for red deer in Valinge. This indicates that the supplementary feeding seem to have an effect on the results of red deer density for both methods.
School:Högskolan i Skövde
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:pellet group count distance sampling plot survey deer dropping density estimation sweden supplementary feeding
Date of Publication:02/28/2008