Document Detail

Regulating overabundant ungulate populations: an example for elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17276577     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In many areas of the world, populations of native ungulates have become so abundant that they are believed to be harming vegetation and disrupting ecosystem function. Methods for controlling overabundance populations include culling animals from the population and controlling fertility using contraceptives. However, understanding the feasibility these alternatives requires insight into their long-term effects on populations. We constructed a simulation model to evaluate options for regulating elk populations in and around Rocky Mountain National Park and used the model to compare different treatment options. Methods were evaulated with respect to the time required to reduce the population to a target level, the number of animals treated and/or culled and the risk of extinction. We contrasted culling with lifetime-effect contraceptives and yearlong contraceptives. Lifetime contraceptives required treating the fewest animals to maintain the population at desired targets. However, this approach also causes the greatest population variability and potential risk of extinction. Yearlong contraceptives required treatment of dramatically more animals but had essentially no extinction risk whereas culling produced intermediate levels of both extinction risk and number of animals treated. These results characterize the risks and benefits of alternative control strategies for overabundant wildlife. They emerge from a modeling approach that can be broadly useful in helping managers in choose between alternatives for regulating overabundant wildlife.
John B Bradford; N Thompson Hobbs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2007-02-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental management     Volume:  86     ISSN:  0301-4797     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Environ. Manage.     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-20     Completed Date:  2008-04-21     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401664     Medline TA:  J Environ Manage     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  520-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 1831 Hwy 169 E., Grand Rapids, MN 55744, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Computer Simulation
Conservation of Natural Resources*
Contraceptive Agents / administration & dosage*
Deer / growth & development*,  physiology
Models, Biological*
Population Control / methods*
Population Dynamics
Population Growth
Risk Assessment
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Contraceptive Agents

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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