The statistics of helicopter total counts of large ungulates in sourish mixed bushveld, northwest arid bushveld and mopane veld, Republic of South Africa

Reilly, Brian Kevin (2000-12)

Dissertation (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The use of helicopters has become almost universally accepted as the method of choice in the enumeration of large ungulates in Southern Africa. In most cases decisions affecting management of these populations are made based on a single count result. In all these instances the within technique variance is ignored, often leading to decisions based on type I or type II statistical errors where the within technique variance is misconstrued as the population change. Many studies have investigated the issue of accuracy of counting methods and a few have quoted precision values for various methods. Very few have, however, investigated power and those extant have approached the problem from a prospective point of view and predicted power values. This study has made use of replicated counts from 12 sites of the original 23 in four vegetation types of the then Transvaal Province. The study sites vary in terms of size and all counts were undertaken with an experienced, trained team in which only four observers were used. A comprehensive post hoc analysis of the results of the field surveys shows precision and power to vary widely according to species and vegetation type and concludes that gamecounting results are largely site specific. A decline in observations during the course of four hours of survey is demonstrated and although the exact cause cannot be determined, correction factors have been constructed for two vegetation types. Observers are shown to differ from one another in observation profile during the course of surveys. This study demonstrates, describes and quantifies the existence of several phenomena suspected to exist by experienced game counters, biologists and wildlife managers and makes proposals in terms of improving the data returned from expensive aerial surveys.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Suider-Afrika word die gebruik van 'n helikopter vir die tel van hoefdiere byna algemeen aanvaar as die metode wat voorkeur geniet. In meeste gevalle word besluitnemings rakende die bestuur van hierdie populasies gebaseer op die resultate van 'n enkele telling. In al die gevalle word tegniekverwante afwykings buite rekening gelaat en dit het die gevolg dat bestuursbesluite gebaseer word op tipe I en tipe II statistiese foute, en dit lei weer op hulle beurt dat tegniekverwante afwykings verkeerdelik geïnterpreteer word as die rede vir veranderings in die bevolkings. Verskeie studies het al die feitegeskil omtrent die akkuraatheid van telmetodes ondersoek en sommige het herhaalbaarheidswaardes vir die verskillende metodes aangehaal. Baie min het egter statistiese mag ondersoek en die wat dit wel gedoen het, het prospektiewe magsanalise as uitgangspunt gebruik en statistiese magwaardes voorspelom die probleem aan te spreek. Hierdie studie het gebruik gemaak van herhaalde tellings van 12 gebiede uit die oorspronklike 23 in vier veldtipes geleë in die ou Transvaal Provinsie. Die studiegebiede verskil in groottes. Alle tellings is deur 'n bekwaamde opgeleide span gedoen wat slegs vier waarnemers ingesluit het. 'n Omvattende post hoc analise van die resultate van die veldopnames dui aan dat herhaalbaarheid en statistiese mag baie varieer met betrekking tot spesies en veldtipes en word die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat wildtellingsresultate grootliks gebiedsgebonde is. In Afname in waarnemings gedurende die verloop van In vier uuropname, is waargeneem en alhoewel die ware oorsaak nie vasgestel kan word nie, is korreksiefaktore bereken vir twee veldtipes. Dit blyk dat waarnemers van mekaar verskil het met betrekking tot hul waarnemingsprofiele gedurende die verloop van die opnames. Hierdie studie dui aan, beskryf en kwantifiseer die bestaan van verskeie verskynsels wat vermoedelik bestaan het by ervare wildtelIers, bioloë en wildlewebestuurders en maak voorstelle met betrekking tot die verbetering van data wat tydens duur lugopnames ingesamel word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52027
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