, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 311-327

A combination line transect and capture-recapture sampling model for multiple observers in aerial surveys

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We present a robust sampling methodology to estimate population size using line transect and capture-recapture procedures for aerial surveys. Aerial surveys usually underestimate population density due to animals being missed. A combination of capture-recapture and line transect sampling methods with multiple observers allows violation of the assumption that all animals on the centreline are sighted from the air. We illustrate our method with an example of inanimate objects which shows evidence of failure of the assumption that all objects on the centreline have probability 1 of being detected. A simulation study is implemented to evaluate the performance of three variations of the Lincoln-Petersen estimator: the overall estimator, the stratified estimator, and the general stratified estimator based on the combined likelihood proposed in this paper. The stratified Lincoln-Petersen estimator based on the combined likelihood is found to be generally superior to the other estimators.