DOI: 10.3390/axioms12121094 ISSN: 2075-1680

An Enhanced Spatial Capture Model for Population Analysis Using Unidentified Counts through Camera Encounters

Mohamed Jaber, Farag Hamad, Robert D. Breininger, Nezamoddin N. Kachouie
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Logic
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Analysis

Spatial capture models are broadly used for population analysis in ecological statistics. Spatial capture models for unidentified individuals rely on data augmentation to create a zero-inflated population. The unknown true population size can be considered as the number of successes of a binomial distribution with an unknown number of independent trials and an unknown probability of success. Augmented population size is a realization of the unknown number of trials and is recommended to be much larger than the unknown population size. As a result, the probability of success of binomial distribution, i.e., the unknown probability that a hypothetical individual in the augmented population belongs to the true population, can be obtained by dividing the unknown true population size by the augmented population size. This is an inverse problem as neither the true population size nor the probability of success is known, and the accuracy of their estimates strongly relies on the augmented population size. Therefore, the estimated population size in spatial capture models is very sensitive to the size of a zero-inflated population and in turn to the estimated probability of success. This is an important issue in spatial capture models as a typical count model with censored data (unidentified and/or undetected). Hence, in this research, we investigated the sensitivity and accuracy of the spatial capture model to address this problem with the objective of improving the robustness of the model. We demonstrated that the estimated population size using the proposed enhanced capture model was more accurate in comparison with the previous spatial capture model.

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