Methods for open populations

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A number of methods have been developed to estimate population parameters for open populations, of which the most general is the Jolly-Seber method. Simply Tagging offers both a full Jolly-Seber analysis and a reduced model in which probability of capture and survival are assumed to be constant over the period of the experiment. Before either of these methods is attempted, it is important to note that they are unlikely to produce good estimates unless a high proportion of the population is tagged. If you know that only a small proportion of the population will be captured, then closed methods should be used and your effort is best expended trying to ensure that the population can be assumed closed for the duration of the experiment.