Spider monkeys, the misunderstood assumptions of distance sampling and the pitfalls of poor field design
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Information on wildlife population size is fundamental for effective conservation actions. The most popular method used to obtain information on population size is distance sampling, and the most commonly used form of distance sampling is line transect sampling (Buckland et al. 2015; Spaan et al. 2019). To be useful, population size estimates need to be unbiased and precise, allowing detection of changes that are relevant to conservation managers. We agree with Spaan et al. (2019) that there is a need for method standardization to compare estimates across time and space, and thus aid conservation decisions.
TAM thanks partial support by CEAUL (funded by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, through the project UID/MAT/00006/2019).