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OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 6/12/2011, SPi 14 | Carnivore Ecology and Conservation For reasons obvious to statisticians, but often less so to field biologists, one must sample carnivores according to statistically sound sampling schemes. Knowing the number, spatial distribution, and independence of sampling units needed to achieve adequate sample sizes and the necessary level of precision is critical if a researcher is to be able to draw inferences from the chosen statistical analyses and modeling.

Because the availability of modeling tools to develop species’ distribution maps is continuously increasing, processes from very fine to broad scale are relevant to the interpretation of modern maps. The true distribution of a species is impossible to map, but it can be approximated by two useful concepts: the extent of occurrence (EOO) and the area of occupancy (AOO) (Gaston 1991). The extent of occurrence identifies the region encompassing all localities where a species has been recorded; the area of occupancy is a subset of the extent of occurrence, which excludes all areas within the extent of OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 16/12/2011, SPi 32 | Carnivore Ecology and Conservation occurrence that are not occupied by the species, because they are unsuitable or presently not occupied (Gaston 2003).

95%), an abundance estimate of, say, 90–110 river otters is much more precise (and useful) than an estimate of 40–160 otters. The coefficient of variation (CV), obtained by scaling the sample standard deviation by the mean (or the standard error of the parameter estimate by the estimate), is a relative measure of precision. Sample CVs can be used to assess the sample size needed to achieve a desired level of (relative) precision (Krebs 1999), and estimator CVs provide the currency with which to compare the efficiency of alternative sampling designs or different survey protocols.

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Calendar Animals and Deities by David H. Kelley

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