Paul M. Lukacs
Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit\ Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology\ Colorado State University\ Current affiliation: Colorado Division of Wildlife
Trapping web design is an important consideration to ensure reliable estimates of density. Numerous factors interact to influence what an optimal design of a trapping web should be. Some factors are beyond the control of the researcher such as animal characteristics, but other factors such as trap spacing and the number of traps per web are easily controlled by the researcher. WebSim is a tool to help researchers decide what is the optimal design of a trapping web study given the conditions they face. It also allows the researcher to investigate the potential influences of various animal characteristics such as movement rates and home range sizes to determine if the trapping web is appropriate in a given situation.
WebSim provides two methods for investigating design issues. First, it offers a Monte Carlo simulation capability. This allows the researcher to input web design features and animal characteristics. The trapping process is simulated and average estimated density and other important summary information is provided. Second, a fitted response surface is available in WebSim which allows the user to input design features then predictions are make about the likely bias and mean squared error of that design. The response surface may be used for course design analysis and it may then be refined through simulation.
WebSim is a Windows based software package that runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP. For further information about WebSim see the program documentation.