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Statistical thinking in wildlife biology and ecology has been profoundly influenced by the introduction of AIC (Akaike's information criterion) as a tool for model selection and as a basis for model averaging. In this paper, we advocate the Bayesian paradigm as a broader framework for multimodel inference, one in which model averaging and model selection(More)
The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the(More)
We investigated the influence of age on survival and breeding rates in a long-lived species Rissa tridactyla using models with individual random effects permitting variation and covariation in fitness components among individuals. Differences in survival or breeding probabilities among individuals are substantial, and there was positive covariation between(More)
Multinomial models with unknown index (" sample size ") arise in many practical settings. In practice, Bayesian analysis of such models has proved difficult because the dimension of the parameter space is not fixed, being in some cases a function of the unknown index. We describe a data augmentation approach to the analysis of this class of models that(More)
Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) is a statistical innovation methodology that allows researchers to fit far more complex models to data than is feasible using conventional methods. Despite its widespread use in a variety of scientific fields, MCMC appears to be underutilized in wildlife applications. This may be due to a misconception that MCMC requires the(More)
Site occupancy models have been developed that allow for imperfect species detection or "false negative" observations. Such models have become widely adopted in surveys of many taxa. The most fundamental assumption underlying these models is that "false positive" errors are not possible. That is, one cannot detect a species where it does not occur. However,(More)
Natural tags based on DNA fingerprints or natural features of animals are now becoming very widely used in wildlife population biology. However, classic capture-recapture models do not allow for misidentification of animals which is a potentially very serious problem with natural tags. Statistical analysis of misidentification processes is extremely(More)
Heterogeneity in detection probabilities has long been recognized as problematic in mark-recapture studies, and numerous models developed to accommodate its effects. Individual heterogeneity is especially problematic, in that reasonable alternative models may predict essentially identical observations from populations of substantially different sizes. Thus(More)
Estimation of population change from count surveys is complicated by variation in quality of information among sample units, by the need for covariates to accommodate factors that influence detectability of animals, and by multiple geographic scales of interest. We present a hierarchical model for estimation of population change from the North American(More)
Demographic analyses of age-structured populations typically rely on life history data for individuals, or when individual animals are not identified, on information about the numbers of individuals in each age class through time. While it is usually difficult to determine the age class of a randomly encountered individual, it is often the case that the(More)