Continuous, Time-Varying Covariates in Mark-Recapture-Recovery Analyses: A Comparison of Methods

Mary Woodcock Kroble
Sunday 9 November 2008
Date: 20 May 2009
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Speaker: Ruth King (CREEM)


Time-varying, individual covariates are problematic in experiments with marked animals since the covariate is typically only observed when the animal is captured. We consider three methods to incorporate time-varying, individual covariates in capture-recapture or mark-recapture-recovery experiments: simple imputation, a Bayesian approach based on modelling the joint distribution of the covariate and the capture-history, and a conditional approach considering only events dependent on the observed data. We will describe each method in turn and use a simulation study to compare the three approaches under different scenarios. We discuss the pros and cons of each method before finally applying the methods to real data (Soay sheep).

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