Journal article

Bias averted: personality may not influence trappability

Chris J Jolly, Jonathan K Webb, Graeme R Gillespie, Nelika K Hughes, Ben L Phillips



Abstract: If bold animals are more likely to be trapped than shy animals, we take a biased sample of personalities—a problem for behavioural research. Such a bias is problematic, also, for population estimation using mark-recapture models that assume homogeneity in detection probabilities. In this study, we investigated whether differences in boldness result in differences in detection probability in a native Australian rodent, the grassland melomys (Melomys burtoni). During a mark-recapture study of this species, we used modified open field tests to assess the boldness (via emergence, and interaction with a novel object) of melomys trapped on the last night of four trapping nights in each o..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (JKW and BP LP150100722). In kind support was provided by the Northern Territory Government Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Flora and Fauna Division (via GRG). CJJ was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award and the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.