ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 586-596.DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150171

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Mark-recapture technique for demographic studies of Chinese white dolphins - applications and suggestions

LIN Wenzhi, Stephen C. Y. CHAN , ZENG Chen, Leszek KARCZMARSKI,WU Yuping   

  1. (1 The School of Marine Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai Key Lab of Marine Bioresource and Environment, Zhuhai 519082,China) 
    (2 The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,China)
    (3 Cetacean Ecology Lab, Cetacea Research Institute, Hong Kong,China)
  • Online:2018-11-30 Published:2018-11-26


林文治 陈钊贤 曾晨 Leszek Karczmarski 吴玉萍   

  1. (1 中山大学海洋科学学院,珠海市海洋生物资源与环境重点实验室,珠海 519082)(2 香港大学太古海洋研究所,香港)(3 鲸豚生态研究小组,香港)
  • 通讯作者: 吴玉萍 E-mail:


Early studies of Chinese white dolphins applied primarily line-transect survey techniques to acquire distribution data and generate abundance estimates, while many recent studies rely on mark-recapture techniques to gain insights into population dynamics and demography. The application of an individual photo-identification approach provides the means to estimate vital population parameters with mark-recapture models which in turn facilitate population viability analysis. Here, we review the application of the photographic mark recapture technique in demographic studies of Chinese white dolphins in China waters; we summarize the quality assessment of individual mark recapture databases; ran simulations to evaluate how survey effort may impact the accuracy and precision of population size estimates; discuss how the survey design, selection of individual-ID marks and data filtering may impact the mark-recapture analysis; and we point out how to minimize the bias associated with data over-dispersion through model selection according to goodness-of-fit testing. We discuss also conceptual challenges that may lead to misinterpretation of data when comparing results from different studies that used different field techniques. With improved understanding of analytical principles behind the data gathering, we hope that demographic studies of Chinese white dolphins in the region will expand and improve in the near future.

Key words: Chinese white dolphin, Population demography, Photo identification, Mark-recapture technique



关键词: 中华白海豚, 种群动态, 个体辨识, 标记重捕法