Large terrestrial mammals

Visible, large mammals can have density estimates derived from distance sampling techniques. When large mammals are not easily visible due to dense habitat, nocturnal activity, or low density, they all leave sign that is observable and can be used as an index. Bears leave claw marks in trees, gorillas create nightly nests, elephants deposit conspicuous dung, and ungulates leave tracks in most soils. Removal techniques are suitable for large mammals that are harvested. Large animals are also most easily captured with trip-cameras. Indeed, camera surveys of large predators are the norm in most forest habitats. It is difficult to convert these camera indexes into density estimates, with the exception of animals with unique markings that are surveyed using trip-cameras. Most large mammals have large home ranges, which make it difficult to estimate the area being sampled by any technique. Direct observations are most frequently used with large mammals, and telemetry units can be large enough to contain most features needed. A limitation might be that the capture of the animal for attachment of telemetry unit will take special skills and equipment.

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