Journal Article


Denise Murphy
Eamonn Gormley
L. A. (Leigh Austin) Corner
John Davenport
Stuart Green
James O'Keeffe
S. Wayne Martin
Andrew W. Byrne
D. Paddy Sleeman



population density animals mark recapture data management microbiology population estimation growth development veterinary models biological badger tuberculosis mustelidae prevention control poisson distribution implications trappability large scale wildlife vaccination mark recapture logistic models epidemiology population growth european badger meles meles pest control ireland

Population estimation and trappability of the European badger (Meles meles): implications for tuberculosis management (2012)

Abstract Estimates of population size and trappability inform vaccine efficacy modelling and are required for adaptive management during prolonged wildlife vaccination campaigns. We present an analysis of mark-recapture data from a badger vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) study in Ireland. This study is the largest scale (755 km²) mark-recapture study ever undertaken with this species. The study area was divided into three approximately equal-sized zones, each with similar survey and capture effort. A mean badger population size of 671 (SD: 76) was estimated using a closed-subpopulation model (CSpM) based on data from capturing sessions of the entire area and was consistent with a separate multiplicative model. Minimum number alive estimates calculated from the same data were on average 49-51% smaller than the CSpM estimates, but these are considered severely negatively biased when trappability is low. Population densities derived from the CSpM estimates were 0.82-1.06 badgers kmˉ², and broadly consistent with previous reports for an adjacent area. Mean trappability was estimated to be 34-35% per session across the population. By the fifth capture session, 79% of the adult badgers caught had been marked previously. Multivariable modelling suggested significant differences in badger trappability depending on zone, season and age-class. There were more putatively trap-wary badgers identified in the population than trap-happy badgers, but wariness was not related to individual's sex, zone or season of capture. Live-trapping efficacy can vary significantly amongst sites, seasons, age, or personality, hence monitoring of trappability is recommended as part of an adaptive management regime during large-scale wildlife vaccination programs to counter biases and to improve efficiencies.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> Rural Economy & Development Programme
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Veterinary Medicine Research Collection (superseded in 2015)
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine (superseded in 2015)
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Spatial Analysis
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Rural Economy & Development Programme
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Spatial Analysis
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Veterinary Medicine (superseded in 2015)

Full list of authors on original publication

Denise Murphy, Eamonn Gormley, L. A. (Leigh Austin) Corner, John Davenport, Stuart Green, James O'Keeffe, S. Wayne Martin, Andrew W. Byrne, D. Paddy Sleeman

Experts in our system

Denise Murphy
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 13
E Gormley
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 68
L A L Corner
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 34
James O'Keeffe
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 48
Andrew W. Byrne
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 16