ESTIMATION OF MOOSE PARTURITION DATES IN COLORADO: INCORPORATING IMPERFECT DETECTIONS

Eric J. Bergman, Forest P. Hayes, Kevin Aagaard

Abstract


Researchers and managers use productivity surveys to evaluate moose populations for harvest and population management purposes, yet such surveys are prone to bias. We incorporated detection probability estimates (p) into spring and summer ground surveys to reduce the influence of observer bias on the estimation of moose parturition dates in Colorado. In our study, the cumulative parturition probability for moose was 0.50 by May 19, and the probability of parturition exceeded 0.9 by May 27. Timing of moose calf parturition in Colorado appears synchronous with parturition in more northern latitudes. Our results can be used to plan ground surveys in a manner that will reduce bias stemming from unobservable and yet-born calves.

Keywords


calf-at-heel; ground surveys; detection probability (p); parturition; recruitment

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