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Author (up) Johansson, O., Samelius, G., Wikberg, E, Chapron, G., Mishra, C., Low, M url  openurl
  Title Identification errors in camera- trap studies result in systematic population overestimation Type Journal Article
  Year 2020 Publication Scientific Reports Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 10 Issue 6393 Pages 1-10  
  Abstract Reliable assessments of animal abundance are key for successful conservation of endangered species. For elusive animals with individually-unique markings, camera-trap surveys are a benchmark standard for estimating local and global population abundance. Central to the reliability of resulting abundance estimates is the assumption that individuals are accurately identified from photographic captures. To quantify the risk of individual misidentification and its impact on population abundance estimates we performed an experiment under controlled conditions in which 16 captive snow leopards (Panthera uncia) were camera-trapped on 40 occasions and eight observers independently identified individuals and recaptures. Observers misclassified 12.5% of all capture occasions, resulting in systematically inflated population abundance estimates on average by one third (mean ± SD = 35 ± 21%). Our results show that identifying individually-unique individuals from camera-trap photos may not be as reliable as previously believed, implying that elusive and endangered species could be less abundant than current estimates indicate.  
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  Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1496  
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