Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies

Drechsler A, Helling T, Steinfartz S (2015)
Ecology and Evolution 5(1): 141-151.

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Abstract
Capture-mark-recapture (CMR) approaches are the backbone of many studies in population ecology to gain insight on the life cycle, migration, habitat use, and demography of target species. The reliable and repeatable recognition of an individual throughout its lifetime is the basic requirement of a CMR study. Although invasive techniques are available to mark individuals permanently, noninvasive methods for individual recognition mainly rest on photographic identification of external body markings, which are unique at the individual level. The re-identification of an individual based on comparing shape patterns of photographs by eye is commonly used. Automated processes for photographic re-identification have been recently established, but their performance in large datasets (i.e., > 1000 individuals) has rarely been tested thoroughly. Here, we evaluated the performance of the program AMPHIDENT, an automatic algorithm to identify individuals on the basis of ventral spot patterns in the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) versus the genotypic fingerprint of individuals based on highly polymorphic microsatellite loci using GENECAP. Between 2008 and 2010, we captured, sampled and photographed adult newts and calculated for 1648 samples/photographs recapture rates for both approaches. Recapture rates differed slightly with 8.34% for GENECAP and 9.83% for AMPHIDENT. With an estimated rate of 2% false rejections (FRR) and 0.00% false acceptances (FAR), AMPHIDENT proved to be a highly reliable algorithm for CMR studies of large datasets. We conclude that the application of automatic recognition software of individual photographs can be a rather powerful and reliable tool in noninvasive CMR studies for a large number of individuals. Because the cross-correlation of standardized shape patterns is generally applicable to any pattern that provides enough information, this algorithm is capable of becoming a single application with broad use in CMR studies for many species.
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Drechsler A, Helling T, Steinfartz S. Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies. Ecology and Evolution. 2015;5(1):141-151.
Drechsler, A., Helling, T., & Steinfartz, S. (2015). Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies. Ecology and Evolution, 5(1), 141-151.
Drechsler, A., Helling, T., and Steinfartz, S. (2015). Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies. Ecology and Evolution 5, 141-151.
Drechsler, A., Helling, T., & Steinfartz, S., 2015. Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies. Ecology and Evolution, 5(1), p 141-151.
A. Drechsler, T. Helling, and S. Steinfartz, “Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies”, Ecology and Evolution, vol. 5, 2015, pp. 141-151.
Drechsler, A., Helling, T., Steinfartz, S.: Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies. Ecology and Evolution. 5, 141-151 (2015).
Drechsler, Axel, Helling, Tobias, and Steinfartz, Sebastian. “Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture-mark-recapture studies”. Ecology and Evolution 5.1 (2015): 141-151.
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3 Citations in Europe PMC

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Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.
Treilibs CE, Pavey CR, Hutchinson MN, Bull CM., Ecol Evol 6(3), 2016
PMID: 26865967
Linking habitat suitability to demography in a pond-breeding amphibian.
Unglaub B, Steinfartz S, Drechsler A, Schmidt BR., Front. Zool. 12(), 2015
PMID: 25977702

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