Title

Estimating porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum Linnaeus, 1758) density using radiotelemetry and replicated mark-resight techniques

Authors

MO Hale
TK Fuller

Publication Date

1999

Journal or Book Title

ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SAUGETIERKUNDE-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MAMMALIAN BIOLOGY

Abstract

Quantitative estimates of the density of North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum Linnaeus, 1758) were obtained in two adjacent study areas in central Massachusetts (northeastern U.S.). Using mark-resight (with radio-marked porcupines) estimators with data collected on one single and four replicated surveys, none of the estimates (range = 10-42 porcupines/km 2) provided the relative precision needed to detect area-specific differences in density. This was because of the small samples of marked individuals (range= 5-12/survey; 4-6/km 2), low observability of porcupines during surveys (x̄ = 15% of marked animals seen; range = 0-40%), and low numbers of surveys. Porcupines are more reclusive than we previously thought, and intensive survey efforts are needed to obtain reasonably precise density estimates in forested habitats.

Volume

64

Issue

2

Pages

85-90

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