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Title:A comparison of three methods to evaluate otter latrine activity.
Author(s):Rivera, Nelda A.; Totoni, Samantha; Monick, Kathryn; Tian, Ting; Green, Michelle L.; Novakofski, Jan E.; Mateus‐Pinilla, Nohra E.
Subject(s):consistency
Lontra canadensis
repeatability
scat detection
spraint detection
visitation rate
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Abstract:We compared methods commonly used in the field of river otter (Lontra canadensis) ecology to estimate visitation rates. We evaluated visitation rates estimated from 2 survey protocols based on video detection—individual visitation rate (IVR) and recording visitation rate (RVR)—and one indirect method based on scat detection—scat visitation rate (SVR). From August 2011 through August 2012, overall scat detection and cumulative video data from 403 camera-days in 2 latrine sites (River and Pond, at a study site adjacent to the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River near Fairmount, Illinois, USA) located <50 m apart did not reveal monthly or seasonal differences between SVR and video detection methods. We identified positive correlations among the 3 visitation rates and differences between overall IVR and RVR. All 3 methods resulted in peak visitation rates during winter. However, when these data were stratified by latrine site, we found both positive and negative correlations at the River latrine. Our work supports that SVR, IVR, and RVR are valuable methods to estimate otter visitation rates at latrine sites. However, it is clear that even within such a short distance between these 2 latrines, these methods detected differences in site utilization. The significant positive correlation observed between IVR and RVR (overall and by latrine site) suggests these methods can be used interchangeably. Otter detection using SVR may serve as a complementary assessment tool for IVR and RVR. To optimize cross-study comparisons and interpretation of results, future studies should detail the type of otter detection and visitation rate used, how variables are measured, formulas used in the calculation of the visitation rates, and detailed descriptions of scat counting efforts when using scat as a tool to evaluate otter visitation rates.
Issue Date:2019-02-27
Publisher:Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Citation Info:Rivera, Nelda A., Samantha Totoni, Kathryn Monick, Ting Tian, Michelle L. Green, Jan Novakofski, and Nohra E. Mateus‐Pinilla. "A comparison of three methods to evaluate otter latrine activity." Wildlife Society Bulletin 43, no. 1 (2019): 198-207.
Series/Report:Wildlife Society Bulletin, 43(1), 198-207.
Genre:Journal (whole)
Article
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.947
http://hdl.handle.net/2142/111765
Sponsor:River Otter Alliance
Illinois Natural History Survey
James Scholar program of the University of Illinois
Rights Information:Open access under CC BY license
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-10-23


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