bSims: methods and products to support survey design

BAM continues to develop tools and methods to help researchers design better monitoring programs.

BAM team member Péter Sólymos created the bSims R package to help researchers design better monitoring programs. The bSims package is a bird point count simulator, which was first presented as a teaching tool at a workshop at the American Ornithological Society 2019 Meeting in Anchorage, AK. The package has since evolved into a standalone tool that (1) allows for easy testing of statistical assumptions and exploring the effects of violating these assumptions and (2) aids survey design by comparing different options. The package presents a spatially explicit mechanistic simulation framework that is based on statistical models widely used in the analyses of bird point count data (i.e., removal models, distance sampling). The workflow involves (1) interactive exploration of multiple setups, e.g., comparing roadside vs. off-road sampling; (2) the settings can be copied from the web application and used in the command line tool to conduct more extensive simulations. 

The bSims package implements the following main functions for simulation: (1) initialize and (2) populate the landscape, (3) animate (individual behaviours described by movement and vocalization events), (4) detect (the physical aspect of the signal transmission), and (5) transcribe (the counts by distance and time intervals).

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