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Multistate model to estimate bison survival

Research Achievements

Multistate model to estimate bison survival

Assessing the efficacy of reintroductions and management actions to maintain populations is key to the field of reintroduction biology. Bison have been reintroduced to many places to avoid extinction, but little information exists to evaluate reintroductions or to help manage reintroduced populations. Relying on mark-recapture data, a team of IGERT trainees used a multistate model to estimate bison survival and breeding transition probabilities, while controlling for the recapture process. They tested hypotheses in these demographic parameters associated with age, sex, reproductive state, and environmental variables and estimated biological process variation in survival and breeding transition probabilities by factoring out sampling variation. Their results suggests a senescence in reproduction, but not in survival.