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Title: Line transect sampling of primates : can animal-to-observer distance methods work?
Authors: Buckland, Stephen Terrence
Plumptre, A J
Thomas, Len
Rexstad, Eric
Keywords: animal-to-observer distances
Distance sampling
Estimating primate density
Kelker strip
Modified Kelker method
Primate survey
QA Mathematics
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Citation: Buckland , S T , Plumptre , A J , Thomas , L & Rexstad , E 2010 , ' Line transect sampling of primates : can animal-to-observer distance methods work? ' International Journal of Primatology , vol 31 , no. 3 , pp. 485-499 . , 10.1007/s10764-010-9408-4
Abstract: Line transect sampling is widely used for estimating abundance of primate populations. Animal-to-observer distances (AODs) are commonly used in analysis, in preference to perpendicular distances from the line. This is in marked contrast with standard practice for other applications of line transect sampling. We formalize the mathematical shortcomings of approaches based on AODs, and show that they are likely to give strongly biased estimates of density. We review papers that claim good performance for the method, and explore this performance through simulations. These confirm strong bias in estimates of density using AODs. We conclude that AOD methods are conceptually flawed, and that they cannot in general provide valid estimates of density.
Version: Postprint
Description: An erratum to this article can be found at
Status: Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1007/s10764-010-9408-4
ISSN: 0164-0291
Type: Journal article
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010. This is an author version of the article. The original publication is available at
Appears in Collections:Scottish Oceans Institute Research
Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling (CREEM) Research
University of St Andrews Research
Mathematics & Statistics Research

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