MOOSE DENSITY ESTIMATION WITH LINE TRANSECT SURVEY
Developments in the theory and analysis of line transect survey make it a candidate for replacement of moose (Alces alces) aerial plot survey. By incorporating perpendicular distance data in estimates, visibility bias correction is built into the method. A 1988 helicopter line transect survey, which included track group observations and searches to determine group size, was used to examine if assumptions were met. The non-parametric Fourier series model was the best candidate estimator, but the parametric half normal curve did almost as well. Two radio-collared moose were in clusters recorded on the basis of fresh tracks, lending support to inclusion of track determined clusters. Although some line transect assumptions were violated (movement prior to detection, non-independence of observations) these can probably be fixed with adjustments to methods. Line transect survey holds promise for increases in precision, accuracy, and cost effectiveness over plot survey methods.
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