Comparative efficacy of sign surveys, spotlighting and audio playbacks in a landscape-scale carnivore survey

Thorn, M., Green, M., Bateman, P.W., Cameron, E.Z., Yarnell, R.W. ORCID: 0000-0001-6584-7374 and Scott, D.M., 2010. Comparative efficacy of sign surveys, spotlighting and audio playbacks in a landscape-scale carnivore survey. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 40 (1), pp. 77-86.

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Abstract

Many carnivores are difficult and labour-intensive to detect, often leading to prohibitively high effort and cost in large-scale surveys. However, such studies provide information that is important for effective management and conservation. Here, we evaluate the suitability of three survey methods for landscape-scale multi-species monitoring. We compare sign surveys, spotlighting, and audio playbacks in terms of detection efficiency, precision, effort, and cost. Sign surveys out-performed the other methods in all comparison criteria, although supplementary methods were needed for some species and sites. We found that using established analysis techniques, robust landscape-scale abundance estimates would require unrealistically high effort and cost. Occupancy estimation required considerably lower sample sizes and was therefore more economical. We conclude that sign-based occupancy estimates constitute a versatile and efficient option for future large-scale, multi-species carnivore surveys.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: South African Journal of Wildlife Research
Creators: Thorn, M., Green, M., Bateman, P.W., Cameron, E.Z., Yarnell, R.W. and Scott, D.M.
Publisher: South African Bureau for Scientific Publications
Date: 2010
Volume: 40
Number: 1
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:25
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:29
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12624

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