Estimates of minimum viable population sizes for vertebrates and factors influencing those estimates

Estimates of minimum viable population sizes for vertebrates and factors influencing those estimates Population size is a major determinant of extinction risk. However, controversy remains as to how large populations need to be to ensure persistence. It is generally believed that minimum viable population sizes (MVPs) would be highly specific, depending on the environmental and life history characteristics of the species. We used population viability analysis to estimate MVPs for 102 species. We define a minimum viable population size as one with a 99% probability of persistence for 40 generations. The models are comprehensive and include age-structure, catastrophes, demographic stochasticity, environmental stochasticity, and inbreeding depression. The mean and median estimates of MVP were 7316 and 5816 adults, respectively. This is slightly larger than, but in general agreement with, previous estimates of MVP. MVPs did not differ significantly among major taxa, or with latitude or trophic level, but were negatively correlated with population growth rate and positively correlated with the length of the study used to parameterize the model. A doubling of study duration increased the estimated MVP by approximately 67%. The increase in extinction risk is associated with greater temporal variation in population size for models built from longer data sets. Short-term studies consistently underestimate the true variances for demographic parameters in populations. Thus, the lack of long-term studies for endangered species leads to widespread underestimation of extinction risk. The results of our simulations suggest that conservation programs, for wild populations, need to be designed to conserve habitat capable of supporting approximately 7000 adult vertebrates in order to ensure long-term persistence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Estimates of minimum viable population sizes for vertebrates and factors influencing those estimates

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/estimates-of-minimum-viable-population-sizes-for-vertebrates-and-4XtRnaopiD
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00346-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Population size is a major determinant of extinction risk. However, controversy remains as to how large populations need to be to ensure persistence. It is generally believed that minimum viable population sizes (MVPs) would be highly specific, depending on the environmental and life history characteristics of the species. We used population viability analysis to estimate MVPs for 102 species. We define a minimum viable population size as one with a 99% probability of persistence for 40 generations. The models are comprehensive and include age-structure, catastrophes, demographic stochasticity, environmental stochasticity, and inbreeding depression. The mean and median estimates of MVP were 7316 and 5816 adults, respectively. This is slightly larger than, but in general agreement with, previous estimates of MVP. MVPs did not differ significantly among major taxa, or with latitude or trophic level, but were negatively correlated with population growth rate and positively correlated with the length of the study used to parameterize the model. A doubling of study duration increased the estimated MVP by approximately 67%. The increase in extinction risk is associated with greater temporal variation in population size for models built from longer data sets. Short-term studies consistently underestimate the true variances for demographic parameters in populations. Thus, the lack of long-term studies for endangered species leads to widespread underestimation of extinction risk. The results of our simulations suggest that conservation programs, for wild populations, need to be designed to conserve habitat capable of supporting approximately 7000 adult vertebrates in order to ensure long-term persistence.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Sep 1, 2003

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off