Saturday, February 8, 2014

Not Enough Knowledge when Making Statistical Data

          There are three steps are needed to make accurate predictions of a species distribution and recovery. One step is having an accurate way of measuring data such as ten animals or a thousand in a specified area like a mile or ten miles. Another step is having a summary of the statically method and theory used. This step can also be expressed as knowing and listing the who is being measured, like animals or plants. The what is being measured is also important such as how many plants are there in a given mile. The where is important as well such as are there any of these plants in the amazon in this 2 mile zone? The when is this being measured is important as well and the how are we going to collect this data.  Often times researchers go a good job with these two steps.
            However the third step for accurate species distribution is where many make a mistake in there research. They don’t have a sound ecological theory. In other words most researchers don’t understand enough about the species to get an accurate prediction of its distribution and how likely it will recover and at what rate. Often basic concepts like increased heat and drought in a species habitat and how these variables will affect the species are overlooked and not included in the gathered data.
            Often times these methods lead to inaccurate results about how of if a species will recover from its declined population. Often times the results are skewed or leaning heavily one direction of a bar chart.
Austin, M. P. (2002). Spatial prediction of species distribution: an interface between ecological theory and statistical modelling. Ecological modelling, 157(2), 101-118.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see this in relation to the Endangered Species Act. How exactly do they determine when a species is no longer legally protected? From personal experience, I have seen citizens feel scandalized because construction began in a certain eagles habitat as soon as they were taken off any list. I doubt that was the full story about the eagle's situation, but it raises some good questions.