I simulated population dynamics of cougars to predict the minimum areas and levels of immigration needed to avoid population extinction caused by demographic and environmental stochasticity for a period of 100 years. Under most plausible parameter values, the model predicted very low extinction risk in areas as small as 2200 km2, and (in the absence of immigration) increasing risk as area decreased below 2200 km2. If as few as one to four animals per decade could immigrate into a small population, the probability of population persistence increased markedly. Thus a corridor for immigration will benefit a small population in an area where further loss of habitat will occur.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1993
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