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How Survey Design Affects Monkey Counts: A Case Study on Individually Recognized Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi).

Spaan, D, Ramos-Fernández, G, Schaffner, CM, Pinacho-Guendulain, B and Aureli, F (2017) How Survey Design Affects Monkey Counts: A Case Study on Individually Recognized Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Folia Primatol, 88 (5). pp. 409-420. ISSN 1421-9980

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Abstract

The fast movement and high degree of fission-fusion dynamics of spider monkeys (Ateles spp.) make them notoriously difficult to survey. We examined which aspects of survey design affect spider monkey sightings along transects in a group of individually recognized spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Punta Laguna, Yucatan, Mexico. We calculated the number of monkeys and subgroups sighted per transect walk. Using generalized linear models, we found no effect of the number of observers, transect type (new vs. existing), walking speed, or time of day on individual monkey counts or subgroup counts. Recounting of individuals was relatively rare and occurred when transects were walked relatively slowly. We missed more young than adult monkeys. The group composition based on survey data was similar to the known group composition. Based on our findings we recommend that surveys performed on relatively flat terrain be conducted at speeds similar to or faster than the moving speed of spider monkeys to minimize recounting of individuals and that young:adult female ratios based on survey data be interpreted as conservative indicators of population health. The novel methods presented to determine sources of bias in population estimates are applicable to a wide range of primates that are difficult to survey.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer-reviewed but unedited manuscript version of the following article: Spaan D, Ramos-Fernández G, Schaffner C, M, Pinacho-Guendulain B, Aureli F, How Survey Design Affects Monkey Counts: A Case Study on Individually Recognized Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Folia Primatol 2017;88:409-420 (DOI: 10.1159/000481796). The final, published version is available at http://www.karger.com/10.1159/000481796
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Karger Publishers
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2017 10:01
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2018 13:07
DOI or Identification number: 10.1159/000481796
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7755

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