census techniques

Cleared and uncleared pellet plots as indices of brown hare density

Faecal pellet counts are commonly used as indices of lagomorph abundance but uncertainty over variation in decay rates among sites has led to most researchers recommending the use of pellet accumulation rates in previously cleared plots rather than the simpler and quicker method of counting uncleared plots. We use data from cleared and uncleared 0.1-m2 brown hare pellet plots at six sites in the central North Island of New Zealand to test the reliability of the two methods.