Environmental and Ecological Statistics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 89–99

Closed population estimation models and their extensions in Program MARK


DOI: 10.1007/s10651-007-0030-3

Cite this article as:
White, G.C. Environ Ecol Stat (2008) 15: 89. doi:10.1007/s10651-007-0030-3


Program MARK provides > 65 data types in a common configuration for the estimation of population parameters from mark-encounter data. Encounter information from live captures, live resightings, and dead recoveries can be incorporated to estimate demographic parameters. Available estimates include survival (S or ϕ), rate of population change (λ), transition rates between strata (Ψ), emigration and immigration rates, and population size (N). Although N is the parameter most often desired by biologists, N is one of the most difficult parameters to estimate precisely without bias for a geographically and demographically closed population. The set of closed population estimation models available in Program MARK incorporate time (t) and behavioral (b) variation, and individual heterogeneity (h) in the estimation of capture and recapture probabilities in a likelihood framework. The full range of models from M0 (null model with all capture and recapture probabilities equal) to Mtbh are possible, including the ability to include temporal, group, and individual covariates to model capture and recapture probabilities. Both the full likelihood formulation of Otis et al. (1978) and the conditional model formulation of Huggins (1989, 1991) and Alho (1990) are provided in Program MARK, and all of these models are incorporated into the robust design (Kendall et al. 1995, 1997; Kendall and Nichols 1995) and robust-design multistrata (Hestbeck et al. 1991, Brownie et al. 1993) data types. Model selection is performed with AICc (Burnham and Anderson 2002) and model averaging (Burnham and Anderson 2002) is available in Program MARK to provide estimates of N with standard error that reflect model selection uncertainty.


Closed capture models Detection probabilities Encounter histories Huggins models Maximum likelihood estimation Pledger models 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fishery and Wildlife BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations