The stakes of capture-recapture models with state uncertainty

  • Date: 03/26/2008

Roger Pradel (Center for Evolutionary and Functional Ecology)


University of British Columbia


The development of the use of CR multistate models is a major feature
of the last 5 years. However, concerns have rightfully appeared about
uncertainty in state assignment. I examine situations where
uncertainties seem to be intrinsic such as with breeding status. But I
also argue that uncertainty is not just a liability, it can be an
opportunity - for instance, to exploit more fully the data at hand and
limit disturbance. Then I examine the methodological answers that have
been proposed. They mainly concern the models conditional on first
release and are of a more or less general applicability. I advocate a
general approach that can be adapted to each particular case and be
used to expand extant specialized approaches. I will also consider how
uncertainty could be incorporated into non-conditional models such as
models of stopover duration. I conclude that, with the advent of
genetic sampling, the new challenges for CR models will be uncertainty
in individual identity and dependence among individuals.