Environmental and Ecological Statistics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 41–59

A robust design capture-recapture model with multiple age classes augmented with population assignment data

  • Zhi Wen
  • James D. Nichols
  • Kenneth H. Pollock
  • Peter M. Waser

DOI: 10.1007/s10651-013-0243-6

Cite this article as:
Wen, Z., Nichols, J.D., Pollock, K.H. et al. Environ Ecol Stat (2014) 21: 41. doi:10.1007/s10651-013-0243-6


The relative contribution of in situ reproduction versus immigration to the recruitment process is important to ecologists. Here we consider a robust design superpopulation capture-recapture model for a population with two age classes augmented with population assignment data. We first use age information to estimate the entry probabilities of new animals originating via in situ reproduction and immigration separately for all except the first period. Then we combine age and population assignment information with the capture-recapture model, which enables us to estimate the entry probability of in situ births and the entry probability of immigrants separately for all sampling periods. Further, this augmentation of age specific capture-recapture data with population assignment data greatly improves the estimators’ precision. We apply our new model to a capture-recapture data set with genetic information for banner-tailed kangaroo rats in Southern Arizona. We find that many more individuals are born in situ than are immigrants for all time periods. Young animals have lower survival probabilities than adults born in situ. Adult animals born in situ have higher survival probabilities than adults that were immigrants.


Capture-recapture Genetic assignment procedures  Kangaroo rat Robust design Single site Superpopulation Two age groups 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi Wen
    • 1
  • James D. Nichols
    • 2
  • Kenneth H. Pollock
    • 3
  • Peter M. Waser
    • 4
  1. 1.Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and ResearchFood and Drug AdministrationRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Patuxent Wildlife Research CenterUSGSLaurelUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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