Conservation of Wildlife Populations

Conservation of Wildlife Populations


424 Pages


Professor L. Scott Mills has been named a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow by the board of trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Conservation of Wildlife Populations provides an accessible introduction to the most relevant concepts and principles for solving real-world management problems in wildlife and conservation biology. Bringing together insights from traditionally disparate disciplines, the book shows how population biology addresses important questions involving the harvest, monitoring, and conservation of wildlife populations.

  • Covers the most up-to-date approaches for assessing factors that affect both population growth and interactions with other species, including predation, genetic changes, harvest, introduced species, viability analysis and habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • Is an essential guide for undergraduates and postgraduate students of wildlife biology, conservation biology, ecology, and environmental studies and an invaluable resource for practising managers on how population biology can be applied to wildlife conservation and management.

Artwork from the book is available to instructors online at An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at for more information.



Published by
Published 12 March 2009
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EAN13 9781444308938
License: All rights reserved
Language English

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

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List of boxes List of symbols Preface Acknowledgments
Part I Background to applied population biology
The big picture: human population dynamics meets applied population biology Introduction Population ecology of humans Extinction rates of other species Humans and sustainable harvest The big picture Further reading
Designing studies and interpreting population biology data: how do we know what we know? Introduction Obtaining reliable facts through sampling Linking observed facts to ideasmindleads to understanding Ethics and the wildlife population biologist Summary Further reading
3 Genetic concepts and tools to support wildlife population biology Introduction What is genetic variation? Genetic markers used in wildlife population biology Insights into wildlife population biology using genetic tools Summary Further reading
ix xii xiii xv
3 3 5 10 14 16 16
17 17 19 24 33 36 37
38 38 38 41 47 57 58
5 6 7
Estimating population vital rates Introduction Estimating abundance and density Survival estimation Estimation of reproduction Sex ratio Summary Further reading
Part II Population processes: the basis for management The simplest way to describe and project population growth: exponential and geometric change Introduction Fundamentals of geometric or exponential growth Causes and consequences of variation in population growth Quantifying population growth in a stochastic environment Summary Further reading Density-dependent population change Introduction Negative density dependence Positive density dependence The logistic: one simple model of negative density-dependent population growth Some counterintuitive dynamics: limit cycles and chaos Summary Further reading Accounting for age- and sex-specific differences: population-projection models Introduction Anatomy of a population-projection matrix How timing of sampling affects the matrix Projecting a matrix through time Adding stochasticity to a matrix model Sensitivity analysis Case studies Summary Further reading
8 Predation and wildlife populations Introduction Does predation affect prey numbers? Factors affecting how predatio n impacts prey numbers
59 59 59 76 81 83 86 87
91 91 93 99 108 112 113
114 114 115 116
119 126 128 131
132 132 133 135 137 143 143 150 157 158
159 159 160 163
9 10
Summary Further reading Genetic variation and fitness of wildlife populations Introduction Long-term benefits of genetic variation What determines levels of genetic variation in populations? Quantifying the loss of heterozygosity: the inbreeding coefficient When does inbreeding lead to inbreeding depression? What to do when faced with inbreeding depression? General rules Summary Further reading Dynamics of multiple populations Introduction Connectivity among populations Measuring connectivity among wildlife populations Multiple populations are not all equal Options for restoring connectivity Summary Further reading
Part III Applying knowledge of population processes to problems of declining, small, or harvestable populations 11 Human perturbations: deterministic factors leading to population decline Introduction General effects of deterministic stressors on populations Habitat loss and fragmentation Introduced and invasive species Pollution Overharvest Global climate change Synergistic effects among deterministic stressors Summary Further reading 12 Predicting the dynamics of small and declining populations Introduction Ecological characteristics predicting risk The extinction vortex Predicting risks in small populations Population viability analysis: quantitative methods of assessing viability Other approaches to assessing viability Some closing thoughts about assessing viability
174 175 176 176 176 178 182 185 192 197 198 198 199 199 201 202 211 217 221 222
225 225 226 226 233 239 241 242 244 245 247
248 248 249 250 252 254 265 270
Summary Further reading
Bridging applied population and ecosystem ecology with focal species concepts Introduction Flagship species Umbrella species Indicator species Keystone species and strong interactors Summary Further reading
Population biology of harvested populations Introduction Effects of hunting on population dynamics Long-term effects: hunting as a selective force Models to guide sustainable harvest Waterfowl harvest and adaptive harvest management Management of overabundant and pest populations Summary Further reading
Epilogue References
Species lists Subject index
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276 276 277 277 279 281 284 285
286 286 287 293 295 303 305 306 307
308 311
348 360