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Effects of neckbands on survival and fidelity of white-fronted and Canada geese captured as non-breeding adults

TitleEffects of neckbands on survival and fidelity of white-fronted and Canada geese captured as non-breeding adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsAlisauskas, RT, Lindberg, MA
JournalJournal of Applied Statistics
Volume29
Pagination521–537
Abstract

We conducted an experiment to examine the effect of neckbands, controlling for differences in sex, species and year of study (1991-1997), on probabilities of capture, survival, reporting, and fidelity in non-breeding small Canada (Branta canadensis hutchinsi) and white-fronted (Anser albifrons frontalis) geese. In Canada’s central arctic, we systematically double-marked about half of the individuals from each species with neckbands and legbands, and we marked the other half only with legbands. We considered 48 a priori models that included combinations of sex, species, year, and neckband effects on the four population parameters produced by Burnham’s (1993) model, using AIC for model selection. The four best approximating models each included a negative effect of neckbands on survival, and effect size varied among years. True survival probability of neckbanded birds annually ranged from 0.006 to 0.23 and 0.039 to 0.22 (Canada and white-fronted geese, respectively) lower than for conspecifics without neckbands. Changes in estimates of survival probability in neckbanded birds appeared to attenuate more recently, particularly in Canada Geese, a result that we suspect was related to lower retention rates of neckbands. We urge extreme caution in use of neckbands for estimation of certain population parameters, and discourage their use for estimation of unbiased survival probability in these two species.

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