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Zach DeBruine — April 04, 01:33PM

Determining a metric for "average" effort per checklist

I am trying to calculate the true probability that a user (or myself) would observe a given species in a given location within a given time frame. I am using the frequency given in the bar chart for the species at that location for that week, but do not know how much time (effort) is required for this frequency to be a true probability of how likely this species is to be observed. I presume this unknown amount of time is defined by the average length of all complete checklists in that area during that time frame. Is there a way to access this information, or is there a general rule of thumb that works in most situations in the continental US? I would like a protocol-independent approximation. Thanks!

meg — April 04, 05:28PM


I was reading the article as pdf at the citation below just before I saw your query. Perhaps a partial answer to your research?
Good birding,

Citation: Kelling S, Johnston A, Hochachka WM, Iliff
M, Fink D, Gerbracht J, et al. (2015) Can Observation
Skills of Citizen Scientists Be Estimated Using
Species Accumulation Curves? PLoS ONE 10(10):
e0139600. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139600
Editor: Stefano Goffredo, University of Bologna,
Received: July 23, 2014
Accepted: September 15, 2015
Published: October 9, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Kelling et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original author and source are
Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are
available from Dryad: doi:10.5061/dryad.2k27f.
Funding: This work was supported by the Leon Levy

Up rated: 1 Down
Zach DeBruine — April 04, 06:14PM

Meg, thanks for pointing out this paper! I did think about the statistical models that Kelling et. al. implemented in their manuscript, but these models describe species accumulation curves for an observer (SACs) whereas I am looking to describe a the probability that a species will be encountered within a period of time at a given location.

Up rated: 0 Down
meg — April 07, 12:58PM


Good of you to reply and better that you read the article. But your reply does not indicate that you reviewed the Literature Cited for perhaps an article with better response to your question. Perhaps look again and find hints to your real query in the long list of citations?


Up rated: 0 Down
Caleb — April 12, 07:15PM

Here's a list of all the publications that used eBird data:

You might be able to find someone who's used that technique there.

Up rated: 0 Down

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