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Accession Number 5001891

Title Assumptions and caveats underlying population viability analysis

Project Description This project was undertaken in response to a request by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to

evaluate Population Viability Analysis (PVA) as a recovery tool for endangered species. The

Service was requiring several of its field offices to conduct PVAs in the process of developing

Recovery Plans. We were enlisted to assist with these PVAs and develop guidelines for biologists

faced with the task of using this new management tool. Our goals were to elucidate the problems

with PVAs and suggest guidelines for the proper use of PVAs. Specifically, we endeavored to

show the consequences of assumptions and decisions made while conducting a PVA. Also, we

developed a technique to increase the precision of PVAs, by calculating the sampling error

separate from the temporal error of estimates of survivorship.

Keywords alex, lognormal distribution, model assumptions, model parameters, normal distribution,

population dynamics, population viability analysis, probability of extinction, ramas, vortex,

Principal Carol I Bocetti, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: carol_bocetti@usgs.gov; Jeffrey S

Investigators Hatfield, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: jeffrey_hatfield@usgs.gov; James D Nichols,

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: james_nichols@usgs.gov; Carol Beardmore, Partners

in Flight: cbeardmore@gf.state.az.us; William R Gould, New Mexico State University:

wgould@nmsu.edu;

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