||English, D.B.K.; Zarnoch, S.J.; Bowker, J.M.,
||Trap shyness in onsite visitor surveys; evidence from the U.S
||Management for Protection and Sustainable Development
||MMV 4 - Proceedings
||MMV4, Estimation bias, onsite surveys, recreation visitation, trap shyness
||In onsite surveys of visitors, whether the purpose is estimating visitation volume or characteristics of the visit population, those who visit the area multiple times per year are candidates to be surveyed more than one time. In such surveys, each visit represents a unique sampling unit. However, individuals may be unwilling to be surveyed after the first contact. The phenomenon is similar to ‘trap shyness’ in wildlife studies wherein an animal learns to avoid traps after the initial experience. If trap shyness exists, it has the potential to bias the results for either or both visitation estimation or describing the average visit characteristics. There is some anecdotal evidence that trap shyness does exist, and could be problematic for long-term surveys such as the National Visitor Use Monitoring program used by the US Forest Service. This paper describes the conceptual framework for how trap shyness can affect both visitation estimates and visit characteristics, identify empirical hypotheses to be tested that provide evidence of trap shyness, present results for the hypotheses, and describe possible improvements to sampling processes that could determine it existence and extent. Data for the paper come from onsite surveying collected during the period October 2004 – September 2007 for about three dozen National Forests.
||ILEN @ m.sokopp @ 948
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