WiSP: Wildlife Simulation Package

WiSP is a library of functions to be used in conjunction with R software

Example results

This software offers the ability for students and field researchers to investigate the behaviour of a variety
of sampling schemes and estimators of density and abundance. There is also a flexible means of generating populations.

  • populations can be comprised of individuals with identical detectability characteristics, or highly different characteristics,
  • the spatial patterning of individuals in simulated populations can be uniform, or highly non-uniform (as shown at left).

Creating populations with these varying characteristics allows researchers to deduce whether the characteristics
of populations of interest to them might create challenges for sampling schemes and estimation techniques. This helps students learn about the capabilities of various types of sampling, and means of estimating animal abundance. In addition, it offers researchers the ability to scrutinize possible data collection and analysis methods before costly field investigations are conducted.

Recently, WiSP has had additional capacity added that allows the analysis of some classical datasets from the literature. We have added a set of translator functions, making WiSP population simulation available for analysis by other software packages. Investigators can examine the behaviour of an extended set of estimators of abundance available in RMark and the multiple covariate approach for fitting detection functions to distance sampling data.