Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Ecology, 76(6), 1995, pp. 1998-2000.


Although nonparametric statistical methods have a role to play in the analysis of data, often their virtues are overstated and their deficiencies overlooked. A recent Special Feature in Ecology advocated nonparametric methods because of an erroneously stated advantage that they require no assumptions regarding the distribution underlying the observations. The present paper points out some often-ignored features of nonparametric tests comparing two means, and advocates parameter estimation as a preferred alternative to hypothesis testing in many situations.