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The line transect method for estimating densities of large mammals in a tropical deciduous forest: An evaluation of models and field experiments

Varman, K Surendra and Sukumar, R (1995) The line transect method for estimating densities of large mammals in a tropical deciduous forest: An evaluation of models and field experiments. In: Journal of Biosciences, 20 (2). pp. 273-287.

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Abstract

We have evaluated techniques of estimating animal density through direct counts using line transects during 1988-92 in the tropical deciduous forests of Mudumalai Sanctuary in southern India for four species of large herbivorous mammals, namely, chital (Axis axis), sambar (Cervus unicolor), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and gaur (Bos gauras). Density estimates derived from the Fourier Series and the Half-Normal models consistently had the lowest coefficient of variation. These two models also generated similar mean density estimates. For the Fourier Series estimator, appropriate cut-off widths for analysing line transect data for the four species are suggested. Grouping data into various distance classes did not produce any appreciable differences in estimates of mean density or their variances, although model fit is generally better when data are placed in fewer groups. The sampling effort needed to achieve a desired precision (coefficient of variation) in the density estimate is derived. A sampling effort of 800 km of transects returned a 10% coefficient of variation on estimate for chital; for the other species a higher effort was needed to achieve this level of precision. There was no statistically significant relationship between detectability of a group and the size of the group for any species. Density estimates along roads were generally significantly different from those in the interior af the forest, indicating that road-side counts may not be appropriate for most species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2010 05:19
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:53
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/25224

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