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The algebraic relationships, underlying assumptions, and performance of the recently proposed closed-subpopulation method are compared with those of other commonly used methods for estimating the size of animal populations from mark-recapture records. In its basic format the closed-subpopulation method is similar to the Manly-Parr method and less restrictive than the Jolly-Seber method. Computer simulations indicate that the accuracy and precision of the population estimators generated by the basic closed-subpopulation method are almost comparable to those generated by the Jolly-Seber method, and generally better than those of the minimum-number-alive method. The performance of all these methods depends on the capture probability, the number of previous and subsequent trapping occasions, and whether the population is demographically closed or open. Violation of the assumption of equal catchability causes a negative bias that is more pronounced for the closed-subpopulation and Jolly-Seber estimators than for the minimum-number-alive. The closed-subpopulation method provides a simple and flexible framework for illustrating that the precision and accuracy of population-size estimates can be improved by incorporating evidence, other than mark-recapture data, of the presence of recognisable individuals in the population (from radiotelemetry, mortality records, or sightings, for example) and by exploiting specific characteristics of the population concerned.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology-Revue Canadienne de Zoologie
Volume78
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
ISSN0008-4301
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2000

ID: 220324