Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department

Organismal Biology

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Rights Information

© 2013 Emily Grace Cole


Camera trapping, a process in which images of organisms are captured through the use of motion and or infrared sensor cameras, is frequently used within the field of biology to estimate species density through the capture-recapture method. Classic physics models of density based on the ideal gas constant, however, can be used to estimate the density of an animal population without the need for recognition of individuals. This study adapts one of these models (Rowclife et al. 2008) to the unique data recorded through automated videography or video trapping, and uses it to estimate the population densities of three relatively abundant species on the Firestone Reserve in Costa Rica: Collard Peccaries, Central American Agoutis, and White-tailed Deer. Collard peccaries were found to have a density of 4.93 individuals/km2, Central American Agoutis were found to have a density of 1.01 individuals/km2, and white-tailed deer were found to have a density of 0.50 individuals/km2. The knowledge of species densities can be extremely useful in the context of a reserve. Changes in these estimates can serve as indicators of consequences from poaching, pollution, or climate change, and monitoring them could be very beneficial to the Firestone Reserve.