Distance Sampling Survey Effort to Improve Density Estimates of Northern Bobwhite

Author(s): Andrea Montalvo, Leonard A. Brennan, Michael L. Morrison, Eric D. Grahmann, and Andrew N. Tri
Published: June 2022

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Distance sampling from aerial platforms can provide researchers with precise and efficient density estimates for wildlife populations, particularly over large areas. The intensity of the distance sampling survey depends on the survey effort. Effort can be referred to as coverage, where transect spacing is determined by the observer's sightability distance of the object or animal. Managers and researchers in Texas often use helicopters to survey and collect data for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) density estimates. For bobwhites, 100% coverage represents transect spacing of 200 m, assuming observers can cover out to 100m on either side of the transects. Often surveys are conducted at 50% coverage or 400m spacing to reduce cost. Still, the implications of lowering survey effort on the precision of density estimates are unknown, particularly in coverage prescriptions.

Suggested Citation

Montalvo, A., L. A. Brennan, M. L. Morrison, E. D. Grahmann, and A. N. Tri. 2022. Distance sampling survey effort to improve density estimates of northern bobwhite. Wildlife Society Bulletin e1303. https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.1303

Sustainable Harvest and Management of Northern Bobwhites