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Thread: Population dynamics

  1. #1

    Population dynamics

    I am wondering whether somebody developed a reliable mathematical model to assess the population dynamics. On a couple of books I found examples, but these models are too simple and do not account for the reaction to overpopulation (mortality or emigration increase) and viceversa. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Google Kirstin Waeber from the UEA, she has done some work on this at the University of East Anglia.

  3. #3
    What species?
    I know of a software that does it but may not be in English.

  4. #4
    I would imagine they will only be as accurate as the information u put in, and even then there will be so many varibles due to habitat, feed quality, recruitemnt or immigration/emmigration or predation/stalking levels. There wil probably be big variation even within ur survey area due to local conditions
    I have just read the results of a deer survey carried out by a pro company that specialises in it and the population estimate/guestimate is +/-30% although he also said it could be out by a lot more than that

    I generally think the old timers were never far away, they have been managing populations for years and just seem to know throu trial and error/experience over years/generations wot the ground can carry and wot numbers should be taken off. Doesnae really matter wether deer, grouse, sheep or cattle the older generations seem far better at 'stockmanship' and just know wot should be left and there never far away with out any need for fancy formula

  5. #5
    Hi Ofbiro,
    Have you looked at the Deer Initiative web site?
    There is lots of information and a spreadsheet at the following links.


  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Have you looked at any of the information regarding the use of the Hoffmann Pyramid? Of course you need to be able to estimate the starting population, fecundity, emigration/immigration, etc. Not sure I'd call it reliable, but at least it gives a starting point.

    As part of a course I attended I put together a couple of spreadsheets for estimating roe and fallow populations.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Many thanks to all colleagues for the suggestions. I will try the spreadsheet by Deer Initiative and let you know.

  8. #8

    The thinking around deer populations in the UK is moving away from concerns about population numbers to impacts. This is reflected in the UK's government forestry service research department's publications (Forest Research - Impacts of large herbivores on woodlands - Publications)

    The link contains an e-mail address for a copy of the spreadsheet developed by Armstrong, H.M., Bathgate, S. & Handley, P. (2007). referred to in the Deer Initiative info. There might be some other useful references to follow in the link


  9. #9
    I did when I was at university - it was looking at African antelope species, and I had all the equations etc from the literature, but at that point simulation modelling required the ability to program from first principles, and I was just a simple agric student rather than a computer scientist.

  10. #10
    Think robbie probably has the right approach, far better to monitor the habitat impact/damage and work from there.

    For any population model to be worth anything it needs to have accurate numbers put in the first place, very difficult with deer/wild animals.

    On a very simple level u could pick a few types of vegetation that the deer love, so will be first to be ate if numbers high and pick the same certain areas and asses how much of ur indicator species are there or wot condition they are in, abundance/browsed etc, give a score 1-10 and record over the years. Basicly simple quadrat/or line transect type thing would work and just repeat in the same area/line every year

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