Inferring extinction in North American and Hawaiian birds in the presence of sighting uncertainty

Roberts, David L. and Jarić, Ivan (2016) Inferring extinction in North American and Hawaiian birds in the presence of sighting uncertainty. PeerJ, 4 (e242). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2167-8359. (doi:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2426) (Full text available)

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https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2426

Abstract

For most species the timing of extinction events is uncertain, occurring sometime after the last sighting. However, the sightings themselves may also be uncertain. Recently a number of methods have been developed that incorporate sighting uncertainty in the inference of extinction based on a series of sightings. Here we estimate the timing of extinction for 41 of 52 North American and Hawaiian bird taxa and populations, the results of which suggest all became extinct before 2009. By acknowledging sighting uncertainty it results in two opposite effects, one pushing the timing of extinction away from the last sighting and the other drawing the timing of extinction nearer to it. However, for 14 assessed taxa and populations the upper 95% bounds lie beyond the end of the observation period and therefore suggest the possibility of continued persistence. This has important implications for conservation decision-makers and potentially reduces the likelihood of Romeo’s Error.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Management Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 09:23 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2016 11:20 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/57033 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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