Beer bottles and mark-recapture?

How many bottles of beer were drunk at the West Taieri Rugby Football Club after a game? We can use mark-recapture methods to estimate this!

In this video Darryl demonstrates how mark-recapture methods can used to estimate abundance or population size (i.e., number of empty beer bottles in this case), focusing on the Lincoln-Petersen estimator. And yes, he realises that he forgot to include the 'hat' in the equation.


The Lincoln-Petersen estimator is for two sampling events and there are a wide-range of generalizations and extensions of this approach that are suitable for more complex situations. The general set of techniques is often known as closed-population mark-recapture (or capture-recapture) models. This is an area we specialise in so feel free to contact us if you need some help with the design or analysis of a mark-recapture experiment.