A technique to estimate white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus density using vertical-looking infrared imagery
Robert E. Kissell, Jr & Susan K. Nimmo
Aerial infrared imagery is used increasingly in eastern North America to provide population counts of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus because of the increased probability of detection compared to visual methods. To date, most work using infrared technology has been conducted using imagery from Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR). Methods have produced counts, but density or population estimates have not been forthcoming because of problems with methodology and automation. Using standard photogrammetry techniques, Vertical-Looking Infrared (VLIR) data, GIS and distance sampling, we describe a method for estimating density. We estimated deer density in four bottomland hardwood sites in Arkansas, USA, with distance sampling using VLIR data and assessed the probability of detection of deer identified in the imagery. Uniform models were selected as the best representative models for each site, and probability of detection was similar (¼0.9560.05 SE) across sites. Distance sampling used in conjunction with VLIR data may provide estimates of ungulate populations in ecosystems of deciduous hardwoods with little topographic relief.
Key words: density estimation, distance sampling, Odocoileus virginianus, Vertical-Looking Infrared, VLIR, white-tailed deer
Robert E. Kissell, Jr. & Susan K. Nimmo*, School of Forest Resources, Arkansas Forest Resources Center, University of Arkansas, Monticello, Arkansas 71656,USA- e-mail addresses: email@example.com (Robert E. Kissell, Jr.); firstname.lastname@example.org (Susan K. Nimmo)
* Present address: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, South Central Regional Office, 500 Ben Lane, Camden, Arkansas 71701, USA
Corresponding author: Robert E. Kissell, Jr.
Received 12 April 2010, accepted 22 November 2010
Associate Editor: Leif Egil Loe
Wildl. Biol. 17: 85-92 (2011)
© Wildlife Biology, NKV