Counting mobile animal populations?
What should I consider when deciding how to mark animals?
How might marking alter the population results?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Marks must be either permanent or at least last until the end of your study. They should not interfere with the animal's behavior. An animal that relies on camoflage for protection should not be marked with bright paint so as to stand out. In population studies, you generally assume that there is no immigration or emmigration, no reproduction during the study, and that your marking did not affect mortality (as by predation). Check previous studies on the animal or related species of animals to see what marking technique has been used in the past.
From your mention of marking, I'm assuming you are planning on using the Lincoln-Peterson index (mark-recapture). There are other techniques that might be better, depending on the population and species. Again, see what has been used in the past and evaluate the techniques as they relate to your study.