Point counts outperform line transects when sampling birds along routes in South African protected areas

Cumming, Graeme S., and Henry, Dominic A.W. (2019) Point counts outperform line transects when sampling birds along routes in South African protected areas. African Zoology, 54 (4). pp. 187-198.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1080/15627020.2019.16...


Abstract

Bird atlases have become an important source of distribution data for broad-scale analyses in ecology, biogeography and conservation. However, national bird atlases are undertaken in different ways in different countries, usually with little formal assessment of alternatives. Existing research suggests that the differences in accuracy between line and point transects are influenced by context, habitat and other details of the sampling protocol. To determine the best approach to use for southern Africa, where collection of data for atlases must cope with a wide range of field conditions, we compared data from a point-count approach to data from line transects on 302 routes in 19 South African National Parks. Data were analysed using paired sample tests, linear models, qualitative assessment and a Bayesian multispecies occupancy model to estimate species richness, while accounting for imperfect detection. On average, five more bird species were recorded along a route using point counts, even though the line transects covered three times more area. There was no obvious difference in the kinds of species recorded. Occupancy models showed that point counts consistently and substantially outperformed transects in estimating species richness. In transects, low detection probability leads to highly biased and imprecise estimates. For almost identical observer effort, standardised point counts along a route provided significantly higher quality data than transects.

Item ID: 60923
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2224-073X
Keywords: sampling, atlas, citizen science, amateur, ornithology, occupancy model
Copyright Information: Copyright © Zoological Society of Southern Africa
Funders: Department of Science and Technology (DST), National Research Foundation (NRF), DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Intitute of African Ornithology
Projects and Grants: DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Intitute of African Ornithology
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 07:39
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page