Analysis and Management of Animal Populations - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780127544069, 9780080574721

Analysis and Management of Animal Populations

1st Edition

Authors: Byron Williams James Nichols Michael Conroy
Hardcover ISBN: 9780127544069
eBook ISBN: 9780080574721
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 17th April 2002
Page Count: 817
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Analysis and Management of Animal Populations deals with the processes involved in making informed decisions about the management of animal populations. It covers the modeling of population responses to management actions, the estimation of quantities needed in the modeling effort, and the application of these estimates and models to the development of sound management decisions. The book synthesizes and integrates in a single volume the methods associated with these themes, as they apply to ecological assessment and conservation of animal populations.

Key Features

Key Features *Integrates population modeling, parameter estimation and decision-theoretic approaches to management in a single, cohesive framework

  • Provides authoritative, state-of-the-art descriptions of quantitative approaches to modeling, estimation and decision-making
  • Emphasizes the role of mathematical modeling in the conduct of science and management
  • Utilizes a unifying biological context, consistent mathematical notation, and numerous biological examples


Faculty, researchers, graduate students and advanced undergraduates in animal ecology, biometrics, quantitative ecology, conservation biology, fish and wildlife biology, wildlife policy, natural resource sciences, and land management.

Table of Contents


Part I: Framework for Modeling, Estimation, and Management of Animal Populations Introduction to Population Ecology. Scientific Process in Animal Ecology. Models and the Investigation of Populations. Estimation and Hypothesis Testing in Animal Ecology. Survey Sampling and the Estimation of Population Parameters. Design of Experiments in Animal Ecology.

Part II: Dynamic Modeling of Animal Populations Principles of Model Development and Assessment. Traditional Models of Population Dynamics. Model Identification with Time Series Data. Stochastic Processes in Population Models. The Use of Models in Conservation and Management.

Part III: Estimation Methods for Animal Populations Estimating Abundance Based on Counts. Estimating Abundance with Distance-Based Methods. Estimating Abundance for Closed Populations with Capture-Recapture Methods. Estimation of Demographic Parameters. Estimation of Survival Rates with Band Recoveries. Estimating Survival, Movement, and Other State Transitions with Mark-Recapture Methods. Estimating Abundance and Recruitment for Open Populations with Mark-Recapture Methods. Combining Closed and Open Mark-Recapture Models: The Robust Design. Estimation of Community Parameters.

Part IV: Decision Analysis for Animal Populations Optimal Decision Making in Population Biology. Traditional Approaches to Optimal Decision Analysis. Modern Approaches to Optimal Decision Analysis. Uncertainty, Learning, and Decision Analysis. Case Study: Management of the Sport Harvest of North American Waterfowl.

Appendix A: Conditional Probability and Bayes' Theorem. Appendix B: Matrix Algebra. Appendix C: Differential Equations. Appendix D: Difference Equations. Appendix E: Some Probability Distributions and Their Properties. Appendix F: Methods for Estimating Statistical Variation. Appendix G: Computer Software for Population and Community Estimation. Appendix H: The Mathematics of Optimization References. Index.


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© Academic Press 2002
Academic Press
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About the Author

Byron Williams

Byron Kenneth Williams is Chief of the Cooperative Research Units, U.S. Geological Survey, where he oversees a national program of research units at 39 universities in 37 states. Prior to his current position he was Executive Director of North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he served as the Co-chair of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee, Coordinator of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, and Administrator of the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. Dr. Williams established the Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Vermont, where he served for 6 years as the Unit Leader with a collateral faculty appointment as Associate Professor. Previous positions also include the Assistant Chief and Acting Chief of the Office of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and several positions at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland as a scientist and science manager. Dr. Williams received BS and MA degrees in mathematics from Oklahoma University, an MS degree in statistics from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in range ecology. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Biometric Society, Ecological Society of America, and The Wildlife Society. He is widely published in areas as diverse as adaptive harvest management, biological modeling, multivariate statistics, vertebrate mapping, waterfowl management, scientific methodology, endangered species conservation, habitat conservation, population monitoring, and dynamic optimization in natural resource management.

Affiliations and Expertise

U.S. Geological Survey, Cooperative Research Units, Reston, Virginia, U.S.A.

James Nichols

James Nichols received a B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest Univ., M.S. in Wildlife Management from Louisiana State Univ., and Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Michigan State Univ. He has spent his entire research career at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Biological Service, and now the U.S. Geological Survey. He is currently a Senior Scientist at Patuxent. His research interests focus on the dynamics and management of animal populations and on methods for estimating population parameters.

Affiliations and Expertise

U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland, USA

Michael Conroy

Michael Conroy is with the U.S. Geological Service, where he holds a position as Assistant Unit Leader in the Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Georgia. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in wildlife ecology and management from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research interests are (1) development of statistical methods for the estimation of population parameters and the testing of biological hypotheses about populations; (2) extension of decision theoretic methods to conservation decision making; and (3) development of adaptive decision support systems. Dr. Conroy has taught numerous courses in quantitative ecology and biometrical methods, and has published widely in such journals as Biometrics, Paleobiology, Ecological Applications, Journal of Wildlife Management, Ecological Modelling, and Auk.

Affiliations and Expertise

Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Georgia, Athens, U.S.A.


"...certainly a 'must-have' for any Institute library in the relevant disciplines, and might usefully adorn the shelves of the more statistically literate researcher." -IBIS (2004) "...the book ecologists have long sought to help them find their way around in the huge and rather technical literature on population ecology. Students will find it a gold mine. ...Professional ecologists will find a solid reference book within which to look up things. And managers and conservation biologists will find a book in which they can learn what the theoretical platform for management of wildlife populations ought to be." -Nils Chr. Stenseth for SCIENCE (October 2002) "This book is as important for its conceptual framework as for its comprehensive review of modern methods of population analysis. Modelling and data analysis are too often viewed as separate from, even at odds with, each other. The authors demonstrate convincingly that this is not the case, by an integrated treatment of population models, the statistics that link them to data, and the decision analyses that make them useful in management." -Hal Caswell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (January 2002) "This well-organized book thoroughly covers an excellent variety of important topics. It will be useful as a textbook in multiple undergraduate and graduate-level courses and it will be a key reference book for working wildlife professionals. The authors have successfully accomplished a challenging task: it integrates reviews of population dynamics theory, modern estimation methods, and how to make optimal management decisions in the real world." -Jay Rotella, Ecology Dept, Montana State University (January 2002) "This is a major synthesis of literature covering nearly all aspects of population analysis and management, including sampling, estimation, model choice, analysis, and optimal decision-making." -David R. Anderson, Colorado Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit (December 2001) "The three authors of this book are preeminent population analysts because of their ability to link innovative quantitative approaches to fundamental understanding of population ecology. They have written a book that will be 'one-stop-shopping' for teachers and students of population dynamics, modeling, and estimation." -William R. Clark, Dept of Animal Ecology, Iowa State University (December 2001) "This is an important book, and should be on the desk - as opposed to sitting on the shelf - of anyone claiming to be involved in research on the dynamics and management of wild populations. Buy it. Study it." -Evan Cooch, Dept of Natural Resources, Cornell University (December 2001) "This books provides an essential synthesis of material relevant to the analysis and management of animal populations. ...The authors effectively capture and marry concepts that are essential for sound analysis and management of animal populations." -Mark Lindberg, Dept of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (December 2001) "This book will be an essential addition to any population biologist's library. The integration of modelling, statistical estimation, and decision analysis to solve applied problems is very compelling." -Kenneth H. Pollock, North Carolina State University (December 2001)