Welcome to the Distance project website

The Distance project provides software for the design and analysis of distance sampling surveys of wildlife populations. This software takes two forms: a Windows-based program and a suite of packages for the statistical programming language R.

Photos of a polar bear, grouse and lizard, taken by Tiago Marques (bear/lizard) and Steve Buckland (grouse)


Introductory workshop registration open

01 February 2021

Introductory workshop, April 2021, registration open.

Examples page updated

20 January 2021

Our examples website has been updated to be easier to use.

Practical design and simulation to optimise distance sampling surveys, March 2021

15 December 2020

The online course “Practical design and simulation to optimise distance sampling surveys” will run 15-17 March 2021.

Spatially explicit models for distance sampling data, March 2021

14 December 2020

The online course “Spatially explicit models for distance sampling data” will run 8-12 March 2021.

Preview of distance sampling training workshops for 2021

30 November 2020

We are planning to offer a selection of introductory and more advanced/specialised workshops in 2021, via video conference. The first, on methods for when animals are missed at zero distance, will be on January 11-12, and registration is currently open.

Pairwise differences in density estimates

24 October 2020

Often ecological questions extend beyond simply wanting an estimate of density in a study region. It is common for inference to extend to differences in density over time or space. A function to assess the significance of differences in density estimates exists in our examples library.

mrds 2.2.3 and Distance 1.0.1 now on CRAN

03 August 2020

New versions of the Distance and mrds R packages are now available on CRAN. Thanks to all those who have taken the time to contact us and help out by reporting unusual behaviour or requesting features.

Remote distance sampling workshops August - Oct 2020

23 July 2020

In August, September and October of 2020, we will be continuing our remote delivery of interactive distance sampling training workshops, with the following four workshops:

  • mark-recapture distance sampling - 25th and 25th August (early evening UK time)
  • introductory distance sampling - 7th - 18th September (early evening UK time)
  • introductory distance sampling - 21st September - 2nd October (morning UK time)
  • spatial modelling of distance sampling data - 5th - 9th October (early evening UK time)

For more information, please see the CREEM workshop webpages.

Distance 7.3 Release 2

07 July 2020

We are pleased to announce an update to our Distance for Windows software: Distance 7.3 Release 2. The new release updates the R packages used by the MRDS, DSM and MA analysis engines, and the simulation engine, with bug fixes and compatibility with R 4.0. If you use any of these engines, we recommend you download the new release.

Remote distance sampling workshop additions

20 May 2020

Consistent with social distancing and travel restrictions, we will be offering our distance sampling training workshops remotely. Details of some offerings are still being finalised, but as of this date, here are our forthcoming offerings:

Old news entries