U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

January 2004


Effolts to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts tpically involve management of unacceptably abundant populations. Increasingly, however, reduction of dense or increasing populations of certain wild species evokes both support and contention kom the public. Management decisions involving population reduction, particularly those directed at highly visible species, should therefore be based on quantitative evaluation of potential outcomes prior to implementation. The purpose of th~sp aper is to revisit a call for use of population modeling in management decisions by reviewing basic aspects of population analysis and the use of publicly available long-term data sets in environmental assessments and impact statements. Our objectives are to discuss I) the relationship of population parameters to population growth, 2) methods of population projection, 3) use of data for model calibration and validation, and 4) the evaluation of management scenarios. Justification and defense of lethal or reproductive conhol programs to solve vertebrate pest problems requires a sound understanding of population status and the dynamics of the problem species.