mortest: estimates the total number of carcasses at a windfarm

Working with Aaftab Jain, we developed a estimator for total number of bird and bat carcasses at a windfarm called “mortest” and implemented it as an R package.  We are interested in estimating c, the total number of carcasses (mortalities) in a period (year). The total number of carcasses is the sum of carcasses over size classes, c = sum_s=1^S c_s. If carcasses are retained (that is, not scavenged) and searcher efficiency is perfect (every carcass is found) and every tower is searched, then each c_s would be counted perfectly. Yet, carcass scavenging by predators and searchers overlooking carcasses are a reality, making observed counts an underestimate. Furthermore, tower sampling rather than censusing is a cost-saving convenience. Our estimator of total mortality, c, weighs the estimates from different search intervals and adjusts the observed counts for scavenging, search efficiency, searchable area of each tower, and proportion of towers searched, accounting for uncertainty in these estimates using a bootstrap. The software was written by Erik Erhardt and is currently private.  Contact Aaftab Jain <> for more information for using the software.

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