Extending the Robust Design for DNA-Based Capture–Recapture Data Incorporating Genotyping Error and Laboratory Data

  • Paul M. Lukacs
  • Kenneth P. Burnham
  • Brian P. Dreher
  • Kim T. Scribner
  • Scott R. Winterstein


For many species, non-invasive sampling of feathers, hair, feces or other tissue has the potential to be very useful and in some cases is already widely used to answer ecological questions. These samples are genotyped and the genotypes are used to identify individuals. There is some level of uncertainty when identifying individuals from genotyping results. We present an extension to the robust design capture–recapture model that allows for the estimation of genotyping error rate and properly estimates population size, survival, temporary emigration, and capture probability in the face of genotyping error. The model uses information contained in the secondary encounter occasions to estimate genotyping error which would otherwise be impossible for an open-population model with a robust design component. We further extend the model to allow estimation of the probability of correctly genotyping a sample from laboratory data. We demonstrate that with an additional data source for genotyping error, parameters are more precisely estimated by allowing some genotyping error and a larger sample size than by culling samples to eliminate the potential for errors in genotypes and reducing model complexity. We use noninvasive and hunter collected data from black bears in Michigan as an example.


Abundance Capture–recapture Microsatellites Non-invasive sampling Tag misread 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. Lukacs
    • 1
  • Kenneth P. Burnham
  • Brian P. Dreher
  • Kim T. Scribner
  • Scott R. Winterstein
  1. 1.Colorado Division of WildlifeFort CollinsUSA

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