Example analysis with Ivory Coast Maxwell’s duiker.

A distance sampling approach to the analysis of camera trapping data offers the potential advantage that individual animal identification is not required. However, accurate animal-to-camera detection distances are required. This requires calibration prior to the survey with images of objects of known size taken at known distances from the camera. See details in Howe, Buckland, Després-Einspenner, & Kühl (2017) for description of the field work and data analysis. Here we present analysis of data from Howe et al. (2017) using the R package `Distance`

Miller, Rexstad, Thomas, Marshall, & Laake (2019).

Heat- and motion-sensitive camera traps detect only moving animals within the range of the sensor and the field of view of the camera. Animals are therefore unavailable for detection by camera traps when they are stationary, and when they are above (e.g., semi-arboreal species) or below (e.g., semi-fossorial species) the range of the sensor or the camera, regardless of their distance from the camera in two dimensions. This temporally limited availability for detection must be accounted for to avoid negative bias in estimated densities. When data are abundant, researchers may choose to include only data from times when 100% of the population can be assumed to be active within the vertical range of camera traps Howe et al. (2017). However, for rarely-detected species or surveys with lower effort, it might be necessary to include most or all observations of distance. In these situations, survey duration (\(T_k\)) might be 12- or 24-hours per day, and it becomes necessary to estimate the proportion of time included in \(T_k\) when animals were available for detection. Methods for estimating this proportion directly from CT data have been described Rowcliffe, Kays, Kranstauber, Carbone, & Jansen (2014), and it can be included in analyses to estimate density Bessone et al. (2020), for example as another multiplier, potentially with an associated standard errors.

A data set for recording of detections during *peak activity* are included in the `Distance`

package. Examine the `DuikerCameraTraps`

described in the data repository Howe, Buckland, Després-Einspenner, Kühl, & Buckland (2018).

```
library(Distance)
data("DuikerCameraTraps")
```

How many transects, how many detections, detection distances

```
[1] 6274
```

```
A1 A2 A3 A4 B1 B2 B3 B4 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6
231 41 444 230 1 1394 8 53 30 97 486 43 1 1398
D3 D4 D5 E3 E4 E5 E6
70 117 258 102 1 375 897
```

Note, three sampling stations (B1, C5, E4) had no detections. The one record for each of those stations has distance recorded as `NA`

, but the record is important because it contains effort information.

```
breakpoints <- c(seq(0,8,1), 10, 12, 15, 21)
hist(DuikerCameraTraps$distance, breaks=breakpoints, main="Peak activity data set",
xlab="Radial distance (m)")
```

As described by Howe et al. (2017):

a paucity of observations between 1 and 2 m but not between 2 and 3 m, so we left-truncated at 2 m. Fitted detection functions and probability density functions were heavy-tailed when distances >15 m were included, so we right truncated at 15 m.

The conversion factor must be include either in the call to `ds()`

or the call to `bootdht()`

. In this vignette, it is included as an argument to `bootdht()`

```
conversion <- convert_units("meter", NULL, "square kilometer")
trunc.list <- list(left=2, right=15)
peak.hn <- ds(DuikerCameraTraps, transect = "point", key="hn", adjustment=NULL,
cutpoints = c(seq(2,8,1), 10, 12, 15), truncation = trunc.list)
peak.unicos <- ds(DuikerCameraTraps, transect = "point", key="unif", adjustment = "cos",
cutpoints = c(seq(2,8,1), 10, 12, 15), truncation = trunc.list)
peak.hr <- ds(DuikerCameraTraps, transect = "point", key="hr", adjustment = NULL,
cutpoints = c(seq(2,8,1), 10, 12, 15), truncation = trunc.list)
```

```
knitr::kable(summarize_ds_models(peak.hn, peak.unicos, peak.hr), digits = 3,
caption="Model selection for three key functions fitted to duiker peak activity data")
```

Model | Key function | Formula | \(\chi^2\) \(p\)-value | \(\hat{P_a}\) | se(\(\hat{P_a}\)) | \(\Delta\)AIC | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

3 | Hazard-rate | ~1 | 0 | 0.398 | 0.006 | 0.000 | |

2 | Uniform with cosine adjustment terms of order 1,2 | NA | 0 | 0.317 | 0.010 | 118.185 | |

1 | Half-normal | ~1 | 0 | 0.262 | 0.005 | 204.005 |

Note lack of fit for all models due to over-dispersion. The subject of over-dispersion is described in Howe, Buckland, Després-Einspenner, & Kühl (2019). This overdispersion causes AIC to select overly-complex models, so analysts should specify the number/order of adjustment terms manually when fitting distance sampling models to data from camera traps, rather than allowing automated selection using AIC.

As a check of the detection function vis-a-vis Howe et al. (2017), the paper reports the effective detection radius (\(\rho\)) to be 9.4m for the peak activity data set.

The effective detection radius can be derived from \(\hat{P_a}\) as reported by the function `ds`

as

\[\hat{\rho} = \sqrt{\hat{P_a} \cdot w^2}\]

```
p_a <- peak.hr$ddf$fitted[1]
w <- 15
rho <- sqrt(p_a * w^2)
```

\(\hat{P_a}\) is estimated to be 0.398, resulting in an estimate of \(\hat{\rho}\) of 9.462.

```
par(mfrow=c(1,2))
plot(peak.hr, main="Peak activity", xlab="Distance (m)",
showpoints=FALSE, lwd=3, xlim=c(0, 15))
plot(peak.hr, main="Peak activity", xlab="Distance (m)", pdf=TRUE,
showpoints=FALSE, lwd=3, xlim=c(0, 15))
```

The camera traps do not view the entire area around them, as would be the case with simple point transect sampling. The portion of the area sampled needs to be incorporated in the estimation of abundance. The data file contains a column `multiplier`

that represents the proportion of the circle sampled. Howe et al. (2017) notes the camera angle of view (AOV) of 42\(^{\circ}\). The proportion of the circle viewed is this value over 360\(^{\circ}\).

An argument to `dht2`

is `sample_fraction`

, an obvious place to include this quantity.

```
viewangle <- 42 # degrees
samfrac <- viewangle / 360
conversion <- convert_units("meter", NULL, "square kilometer")
peak.hr.dens <- dht2(peak.hr, flatfile=DuikerCameraTraps, strat_formula = ~1,
sample_fraction = samfrac, er_est = "P2", convert_units = conversion)
print(peak.hr.dens, report="density")
```

```
Summary statistics:
.Label Area CoveredArea Effort n k ER se.ER cv.ER
Total 40.37 1015.748 12317058 5865 21 0 0 0.302
Density estimates:
.Label Estimate se cv LCI UCI df
Total 14.5106 4.384 0.302 7.8351 26.8734 20.094
Component percentages of variance:
.Label Detection ER
Total 0.23 99.77
```

To produce a more reliable estimate of the precision of the point estimate, produce bootstrap estimates using `bootdht`

. Two issues to note when using `bootdht`

with these camera trap data:

- because of the viewing angle of the camera, we must specify the
`sample_fraction`

argument just as was done in the call to`dht2`

- in Howe et al. (2017), estimates of density rather than estimates of abundance are presented. To produce estimates from
`bootdht`

consistent with Howe et al. (2017), we write our own simple summary function to extract density estimates from each bootstrap replicate. This is instead of relying upon the default function`bootdht_Nhat_summarize`

provided in the`Distance`

package, which produces estimates of abundance rather than density.

```
viewangle <- 42 # degrees
samfrac <- viewangle / 360
mysummary <- function(ests, fit){
return(data.frame(Dhat = ests$individuals$D$Estimate))
}
duiker.boot.hr <- bootdht(model=peak.hr, flatfile=DuikerCameraTraps, resample_transects = TRUE,
nboot=400, summary_fun=mysummary, sample_fraction = samfrac,
convert.units = conversion)
```

Confidence limits computed via the percentile method of the bootstrap.

```
print(summary(duiker.boot.hr))
```

```
Bootstrap results
Boostraps : 400
Successes : 400
Failures : 0
median mean se lcl ucl cv
Dhat 14.24 15.08 5.81 6.16 27.96 0.41
```

```
hist(duiker.boot.hr$Dhat, breaks = 20,
xlab="Estimated density", main="D-hat estimates bootstraps")
abline(v=quantile(duiker.boot.hr$Dhat, probs = c(0.025,0.975), na.rm=TRUE), lwd=2, lty=3)
```

Note the confidence limits computed from the bootstrap are somewhat wider than the confidence limits computed via `dht2`

.

Bessone, M., Kühl, H. S., Hohmann, G., Herbinger, I., N’Goran, K. P., Asanzi, P., … Fruth, B. (2020). Drawn out of the shadows: Surveying secretive forest species with camera trap distance sampling. *Journal of Applied Ecology*, *57*(5), 963–974. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13602

Howe, E. J., Buckland, S. T., Després-Einspenner, M.-L., & Kühl, H. S. (2017). Distance sampling with camera traps. *Methods in Ecology and Evolution*, *8*(11), 1558–1565. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12790

Howe, E. J., Buckland, S. T., Després-Einspenner, M.-L., & Kühl, H. S. (2019). Model selection with overdispersed distance sampling data. *Methods in Ecology and Evolution*, *10*(1), 38–47. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13082

Howe, E. J., Buckland, S. T., Després-Einspenner, M.-L., Kühl, H. S., & Buckland, S. T. (2018). *Data from: Distance sampling with camera traps*. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b4c70

Miller, D., Rexstad, E., Thomas, L., Marshall, L., & Laake, J. (2019). Distance sampling in r. *Journal of Statistical Software, Articles*, *89*(1), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v089.i01

Rowcliffe, J. M., Kays, R., Kranstauber, B., Carbone, C., & Jansen, P. A. (2014). Quantifying levels of animal activity using camera trap data. *Methods in Ecology and Evolution*, *5*(11), 1170–1179. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12278