US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Biological Conservation 136 (2007) 520-530. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.12.023


Conservation practitioners frequently extrapolate data from single-species investigations when managing critically endangered populations. However, few researchers initiate work with the intent of making findings useful to conservation efforts for other species. We presented and explored the concept of conducting conservation-oriented research for suites of geographically separated populations with similar natural histories, resource needs, and extinction threats. An example was provided in the form of an investigation into the population demography of endangered Micronesian kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus). We provided the first demographic parameter estimates for any of the 12 endangered Pacific Todiramphus species, and used results to develop a population projection matrix model for management throughout the insular Pacific. Further, we used the model for elasticity and simulation analyses with demographic values that randomly varied across ranges that might characterize congener populations. Results from elasticity and simulation analyses indicated that changes in breeding adult survival exerted the greatest magnitude of influence on population dynamics. However, changes in nestling survival were more consistently correlated with population dynamics as demographic rates were randomly altered. We concluded that conservation practitioners working with endangered Pacific kingfishers should primarily focus efforts on factors affecting nestling and breeder survival, and secondarily address fledgling juveniles and helpers. Further, we described how the generalized base model might be changed to focus on individual populations and discussed the potential application of multi-species models to other conservation situations.