Management of invasive mammal pests plays an integral role in the conservation of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. Models fitted to pest capture data can guide conservation managers by providing estimates of pest densities within a management area, or probabilities of absence for declaring local eradication. A key parameter of these models is the detectability, i.e. the probability of an animal being detected by a surveillance device for a given amount of survey effort.
Estimating the detection probability of introduced organisms during the pre-monitoring phase of an eradication effort can be extremely helpful in informing eradication and post-eradication monitoring efforts, but this step is rarely taken. We used data collected during 11 nights of mark-recapture sampling on Aguiguan, Mariana Islands, to estimate introduced kiore (Rattus exulans Peale) density and detection probability, and evaluated factors affecting detectability to help inform possible eradication efforts.