Spatial Capture-Recapture, Road Impact and Occupancy Modeling for the Common Mammals in Indiana
Studying the dynamics locally common animals provides important information for wildlife monitoring, natural habitat management and human-wildlife interactions. Common animals can also be suitable subjects for comparing various methodology, such as evaluating the performance of different analytical approaches. In this dissertation, I explored the performance of several statistical models by applying them to the common mammals in Indiana. In chapter 1, I evaluated how different sampling intensities of camera trapping affect occupancy estimation. I developed single-season single-species occupancy models for each of five common mammal species in Indiana: white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ), raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) and eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and one rare species, swamp rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus) in southwestern Indiana and northwestern Kentucky. In chapter 2, I compared densities estimated with traditional capture-recapture models (CR) and spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) for mammals in central and southern Indiana including raccoon, Virginia opossum, fox squirrel, eastern gray squirrel and eastern chipmunk ( Tamias striatus). In chapter 3, I assessed the impact of landscape connectivity on the populations of the same suite of mammals in chapter 2. More specifically, I used the ecological-distance based spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models to investigate how roads affect landscape connectivity for these mammalian species.
Zollner, Purdue University.
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