, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 81-91

Line transect sampling of Karner blue butterflies ( Lycaeides melissa samuelis)

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Abstract

Line transect sampling is an effective survey method for estimating butterfly densities because it provides unbiased estimates of site-density (provided key assumptions are met), and estimates are comparable among sites. For monitoring Karner blue butterflies in Wisconsin, USA, comparable estimates are required because each year a different selection of sites will be monitored. Annual state-wide indices of species abundance can be derived from the site-surveys and compared to previous year's indices to monitor trends. We advocate that line transect sampling is preferable to Pollard-Yates transects as a survey technique for monitoring Karner blue butter- flies. The Pollard-Yates surveys do not adjust for diferences in site detectability. As a consequence, estimates of among-site from Pollard-Yates surveys can be biased. © Rapid Science 1998