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Using occupancy as a state variable for monitoring the critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis

Guillera-Arroita, Gurutzeta, Lahoz-Monfort, José J., Milner-Gulland, E. J., Young, Richard P. and Nicholson, Emily 2010, Using occupancy as a state variable for monitoring the critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis, Endangered species research, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 157-166, doi: 10.3354/esr00274.

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Title Using occupancy as a state variable for monitoring the critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis
Formatted title Using occupancy as a state variable for monitoring the critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis
Author(s) Guillera-Arroita, Gurutzeta
Lahoz-Monfort, José J.
Milner-Gulland, E. J.
Young, Richard P.
Nicholson, Emily
Journal name Endangered species research
Volume number 11
Issue number 2
Start page 157
End page 166
Total pages 10
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1863-5407
1613-4796
Keyword(s) Alaotra
Alaotran gentle lemur
Detectability
Hapalemur alaotrensis
Madagascar
Monitoring
Occupancy
Summary Although monitoring is an essential tool for biodiversity conservation, monitoring programmes are often poorly designed and thus unlikely to produce results that are meaningful for management. Monitoring is especially challenging when dealing with rare and elusive species in areas where conservation resources are particularly limited. In such cases, monitoring techniques aimed at estimating occupancy represent an attractive alternative to traditional methods concerned with estimating population size, as the collection of detection/non-detection data is in general less costly and easier to implement. In this study, we evaluated the use of occupancy as a state variable for the monitoring of the Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis, a Critically Endangered primate exclusively inhabiting the dense marshes around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar. We used a likelihood-based modelling approach that explicitly accounts for detectability. This showed that the probability of detection of H. alaotrensis was extremely low and depended on site characteristics that can vary in space and time, confirming the need to account for imperfect detection when monitoring this species. We used our models to explore factors affecting the probability of occupancy and detection to identify management implications, and also developed recommendations for the ongoing monitoring of this species. The method applied in this study provides an efficient tool for the monitoring of an elusive species and has the potential to provide a flexible sampling framework for local community based monitoring initiatives.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/esr00274
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, Inter-Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073642

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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