A comparison of sampling techniques to estimate number of wetlands

Rex R. Johnson, Kenneth F. Higgins, David E. Naugle, Jonathan A. Jenks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Service use annual estimates of the number of ponded wetlands to estimate duck production and establish duck hunting regulations. Sampling techniques that minimize bias may provide more reliable estimates of annual duck production. Using a wetland geographic information system (GIS), we estimated number of wetlands using standard counting protocol with belt transects and samples of square plots. Estimates were compared to the known number of wetlands in the GIS to determine bias. Bias in transect-derived estimates ranged from +67-87% of the known number of wetlands, compared to bias of +3-6% in estimates from samples of 10.24-km2 plots. We recommend using samples of 10.24-km2 plots stratified by wetland density to decrease bias.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-108
    Number of pages6
    JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1999


    • Bias
    • Prairie pothole region
    • Sampling techniques
    • Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Surveys
    • Wetlands


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