Hi,

I am just trying to wrap my head around something: initial occupancy. For context, I have 232 sites and ~8 primary sampling periods with 4 potential secondary sampling periods.

When modeling single-species multi-season models (psi, p, gamma, epsilon),

psi is "initial occupancy", correct?

Can anyone clarify exactly what "initial occupancy" is?

1)Is this parameter "occupancy during the 1st primary sampling period only", or "occupancy during the 1st primary sampling period sampled"? What happens if a site was skipped during the first primary sampling period (and coded as missed), and sampled for the first time during the second primary sampling period? Is this site incorporated into the initial occupancy estimate, or is it simply ignored when estimating this parameter?

2) Similarly, are site covariates for "initial occupancy" based solely on occupancy status for the 1st primary sampling period, or for the first primary sampling period with data?

Thanks in advance,

John