Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Galliformes 2000: proceedings of the 2nd international galliformes symposium, 24 Sep-1 Oct 2000, Kathmandu and Chitwan, Nepal (2000), ed. Woodburn, M.; McGowan, P., pp. 204-211.


A large number of techniques are available for assessing populations of vertebrates. However, application of many of those techniques to Galliformes is hampered by a variety of constraints. These problems are often magnified by poor understanding of the biology of many species of concern, and an absence of valid estimates of abundance and demographic parameters. Researchers interested in developing estimates of Galliformes populations must address a number of key issues before collecting field data, to avoid biases in the resulting population estimates. General guidance exists for the identification of appropriate population estimation techniques, and a dichotomous key has been developed for abundance estimation of other vertebrates, such as mammals. First, we review some of the basic principles of abundance estimation, with the goal of identifying sources of bias, and avoiding these in field surveys. We then develop specific guidelines for Galliformes, and a key to abundance estimation for field researchers. Based on our knowledge of the general biology of Galliformes, the most applicable techniques for estimating abundance are based on variations of distance sampling techniques, mark-resighting techniques, and removal techniques. Use of indices should be considered only when more quantitative analyses are logistically or biologically impossible. However, their use can be made more valuable by employing double sampling or other methods that directly link indices to unbiased estimates of abundance.