What is it about?

Many mark-recapture studies are conducted on sturgeon that result in low recapture rates. Additionally, several studies declare population increase or recovery without testing for the assumptions of a mark-recapture. In this study, we assess the assumptions of a mark-recapture model on lake sturgeon to determine if they are a suitable species for this technique. We then apply the same approach to a different study that reported a 445% increase in population size over 20+ years.

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Why is it important?

This study identified that the assumptions should be satisfied for a mark-recapture on sturgeon. It also highlighted that violations to these model assumptions could grossly over-estimate population sizes. The impact could be changes in policy or management efforts that reduce (or increases) protected when it isn't warranted.


This manuscript is not stating that sturgeon populations aren't recovering but incorporates capture probability to provide possibly more 'realistic' estimates.

Dr Tim J Haxton
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Are we overestimating recovery of sturgeon populations using mark/recapture surveys?, Journal of Applied Ichthyology, September 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/jai.13795.
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