Re: Bird Flagging (A note on statistics)

To: Kym Bennet <>
Subject: Re: Bird Flagging (A note on statistics)
From: Kiran Krishna <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 18:06:02 +1100 (EST)
Dear Kym,

  15% is closer to 1/7th. Pardon the approximation. But you still have
proved nothing. It should be noted that anything that has a minor
effect on a large population will have a disastrous one on a smaller
population. Therefore, if there has been something (anything at all: Say
a disease, or a reduction in habitat, or, as an example, a sudden
increase in the number of a certain bird hunted) that struck the
population of Little Terns as a whole, the banded Little Terns, which form
a small part of the entire set will experience a greater effect. If I may
be allowed an analogy, something similar happened with Aboriginal Deaths
in Custody. The problem was not (or not only) racism, it was a larger
problem with the law, and law enforcement. However, since proportionally,
the Aborigines formed a small part of the population, they are much more
susceptible to the resulting effects. Similarly, if one monitors
radioactivity, one finds that the smaller the time of data collection, the
greater the odd ones out (It takes a while for the background to be
eliminated). This is a property of Poissonian statistics, which has a
hump around the 0. Likewise with flagged birds. Without absolute
numbers, detailed study, and a comparison of proportions, it is not really
fair to assert a statistical conclusion.


Kiran Krishna
3rd yr physics
(Falkiner High Energy Physics)
University of Sydney
NSW 2006


Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest
political end.
                - Lord Acton

Both liberty abd property are precarious, unless the posessors have sense 
and spirit enough to defend them.
                - Junius (Philip Francis Jr)

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