[MARMAM] Publication of paper on Bayesian estimation of group sizes for a coastal cetacean using aerial survey data in Marine Mammal Science

Charlotte Boyd - NOAA Affiliate charlotte.boyd at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 25 11:49:39 PDT 2019


Dear Colleagues

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our paper on
Bayesian estimation of group sizes for a coastal cetacean using aerial
survey data in *Marine Mammal Science*.

Citation: Boyd C, Hobbs RC, Punt AE, Shelden KE, Sims CL, Wade PR. 2019.
Bayesian estimation of group sizes for a coastal cetacean using aerial
survey data. *Marine Mammal Science*.

Abstract: Many small cetacean, sirenian, and pinniped species aggregate in
groups of large or variable size. Accurate estimation of group sizes is
essential for estimating the abundance and distribution of these species,
but is challenging as individuals are highly mobile and only partially
visible. We developed a Bayesian approach for estimating group sizes using
wide‐angle aerial photographic or video imagery. Our approach accounts for
both availability and perception bias, including a new method (analogous to
distance sampling) for estimating perception bias due to small image size
in wide‐angle images. We demonstrate our approach through an application to
aerial survey data for an endangered population of beluga whales
(*Delphinapterus
leucas*) in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Our results strengthen understanding of
variation in group size estimates and allow for probabilistic statements
about the size of detected groups. Aerial surveys are a standard tool for
estimating the abundance and distribution of various marine mammal species.
The role of aerial photographic and video data in wildlife assessment is
expected to increase substantially with the widespread uptake of unmanned
aerial vehicle technology. Key aspects of our approach are relevant to
group size estimation for a broad range of marine mammal, seabird, other
waterfowl, and terrestrial ungulate species.

The paper is available at
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mms.12592. If you have
trouble accessing it, please send me an email (charlotte.boyd at noaa.gov) to
request a pdf.

All the best

Charlotte

-- 
Charlotte Boyd PhD
Marine Mammal Laboratory
NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle WA 98115
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