Broad-scale estimates of detection probability in North American landbirds, with implications for data integration

Rhona Rodger
Monday 24 July 2023
Date: 2 August 2023
Time: 2:00 pm

Speaker: Brandon Edwards, Carleton University, Canada

Abstract: Since the 1970s, North America has lost approximately 2.9 billion birds, despite decades of targeted conservation efforts. In a world where biodiversity monitoring data is increasing year after year, but biodiversity itself continues to decrease, methods and expertise from the world of Big Data are now needed to properly synthesize the thousands of bird monitoring datasets into one cohesive story. Using hundreds of open datasets across North America, the NA-POPS project has derived detection probabilities for nearly 75% of North America’s landbirds. Here, I will present the results of this broad-scale effort to estimate accurate detection probabilities for North American landbirds. Additionally, I will present some preliminary results from two additional projects that have stemmed off this effort: 1) a modelling exercise to predict detection probabilities for rare or undersampled birds using a hierarchical Bayesian model, and 2) a framework to estimate distance to singing birds (i.e., detection distance) using autonomous recording units. Finally, I will talk about my proposed project that I am undertaking at University of St Andrews in conjunction with CREEM to apply these detection probabilities as statistical offsets in an integrated trend modelling framework, to improve data coverage and (hopefully) trend estimates of the North American Breeding Bird Survey.

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