Abstract

We evaluated naive density estimates and density estimates corrected for “edge effect” using mean maximum distance moved (MMDM) for small mammal populations by Monte Carlo methods. Two densities, 25 and 100/ha, were generated in random or slightly clumped spatial patterns within a 4-ha area and populations had average capture probabilities of either 0.16 or 0.24 allowing variation in time, behavior, and heterogeneity. Animals were assumed to have a bivariate normal utilization distribution of either 0.25, 0.5, or 0.75 ha. An 18 by 18 trapping grid with 7 m trap spacing was simulated with trapping over 6 or 8 occasions. Evaluation of 1,393 repetitions divided among 8 different cases revealed a large positive bias (69–89%) for the naive density estimates, and density estimates by using the MMDM had less than 22% bias. A robustness to home range size was demonstrated by the MMDM. Difficulties with both methods are indicated.

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