Comparison of Survival Estimates Using Age-Specific Mortality and Radiotelemetry Data for Florida Key Deer
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Obtaining reliable survival estimates is important in the management of wildlife populations, particularly for the construction of computer simulation models. Many methods for estimating survival (e.g., radiotelemetry) are cost-prohibitive or time consuming. Life tables can provide survival estimates using data routinely collected by some management agencies. We calculated annual survival for Odocoileus virginianus clavium (Key deer) using age-specific mortality data. We compared our life-table estimates to those calculated from radiotelemetry data. Key deer survival estimates derived from life tables were similar to rates calculated from radiocollared deer. The only exception was for yearling/adult females on north Big Pine Key, where the life-table estimate was only slightly outside of the 95% confidence interval for the radiotelemetry estimate. Our results suggest that life tables based on age-specific mortality data can be a useful tool in estimating survival for Key deer. Comparing survival estimates from both methods allowed us to evaluate potential biases due to violation of assumptions associated with life-table calculations. While wildlife managers should be aware of the potential biases, age-specific mortality data may provide an adequate and cost-effective alternative for estimating survival.
author list (cited authors)
Harveson, P. M., Lopez, R. R., Silvy, N. J., & Frank, P. A.