Conservation of Wildlife Populations: Demography, Genetics, and Management / Edition 2

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Population ecology has matured to a sophisticated science with astonishing potential for contributing solutions to wildlife conservation and management challenges. And yet, much of the applied power of wildlife population ecology remains untapped because its broad sweep across disparate subfields has been isolated in specialized texts. In this book, L. Scott Mills covers the full spectrum of applied wildlife population ecology, including genomic tools for non-invasive genetic sampling, predation, population projections, climate change and invasive species, harvest modeling, viability analysis, focal species concepts, and analyses of connectivity in fragmented landscapes. With a readable style, analytical rigor, and hundreds of examples drawn from around the world, Conservation of Wildlife Populations (2nd ed) provides the conceptual basis for applying population ecology to wildlife conservation decision-making. Although targeting primarily undergraduates and beginning graduate students with some basic training in basic ecology and statistics (in majors that could include wildlife biology, conservation biology, ecology, environmental studies, and biology), the book will also be useful for practitioners in the field who want to find - in one place and with plenty of applied examples - the latest advances in the genetic and demographic aspects of population ecology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As a class text it offers an extremely useful and stimulating comprehensive integration of conservation and population biology, including clear, readable scientific basics.”  (Austral Ecology, 19 May 2014)

“Summing Up: Recommended.  Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty.  (Choice, 1 November 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470671498
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/26/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 537,065
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Scott Mills is a Professor in the Wildlife Biology Program at The University of Montana.  He was a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, has received multiple NSF Awards, served on the Board of Governors for the North American Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, and has testified to Congress about the role of ethics in wildlife population biology research. Mills was an invited contributor to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC) report, and to the Western Governors’ Association Climate Change Working Group.  His research and teaching integrates field studies with population models and genetic analyses to understand effects of human perturbations on wildlife populations.   Mills’ research on wildlife around the world – from snowshoe hares to marmots, mice to coyotes, bighorn sheep to snow leopards and tigers - has been covered in media outlets including Newsweek, National Geographic, The New York Times, Discovery Channel Canada, Science News, National Public Radio, Nature, Science, and The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. 

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Table of Contents

List of boxes     ix
List of symbols     xii
Preface     xiii
Acknowledgments     xv
Background to applied population biology     1
The big picture: human population dynamics meets applied population biology     3
Introduction     3
Population ecology of humans     5
Extinction rates of other species     10
Humans and sustainable harvest     14
The big picture     16
Further reading     16
Designing studies and interpreting population biology data: how do we know what we know?     17
Introduction     17
Obtaining reliable facts through sampling     19
Linking observed facts to ideas[subscript mind] leads to understanding     24
Ethics and the wildlife population biologist     33
Summary     36
Further reading     37
Genetic concepts and tools to support wildlife population biology     38
Introduction     38
What is genetic variation?     38
Genetic markers used in wildlife population biology     41
Insights into wildlife population biology using genetic tools     47
Summary     57
Further reading     58
Estimating population vital rates     59
Introduction     59
Estimating abundance and density     59
Survival estimation     76
Estimation of reproduction     81
Sex ratio     83
Summary     86
Further reading     87
Population processes: the basis for management     89
The simplest way to describe and project population growth: exponential and geometric change     91
Introduction     91
Fundamentals of geometric or exponential growth     93
Causes and consequences of variation in population growth     99
Quantifying population growth in a stochastic environment     108
Summary     112
Further reading     113
Density-dependent population change     114
Introduction     114
Negative density dependence     115
Positive density dependence     116
The logistic: one simple model of negative density-dependent population growth     119
Some counterintuitive dynamics: limit cycles and chaos     126
Summary     128
Further reading     131
Accounting for age- and sex-specific differences: population-projection models     132
Introduction     132
Anatomy of a population-projection matrix     133
How timing of sampling affects the matrix     135
Projecting a matrix through time     137
Adding stochasticity to a matrix model     143
Sensitivity analysis     143
Case studies     150
Summary     157
Further reading     158
Predation and wildlife populations     159
Introduction     159
Does predation affect prey numbers?     160
Factors affecting how predation impacts prey numbers     163
Summary     174
Further reading     175
Genetic variation and fitness of wildlife populations     176
Introduction     176
Long-term benefits of genetic variation     176
What determines levels of genetic variation in populations?     178
Quantifying the loss of heterozygosity: the inbreeding coefficient     182
When does inbreeding lead to inbreeding depression?     185
What to do when faced with inbreeding depression?     192
General rules     197
Summary     198
Further reading     198
Dynamics of multiple populations     199
Introduction     199
Connectivity among populations     201
Measuring connectivity among wildlife populations     202
Multiple populations are not all equal     211
Options for restoring connectivity     217
Summary     221
Further reading     222
Applying knowledge of population processes to problems of declining, small, or harvestable populations     223
Human perturbations: deterministic factors leading to population decline     225
Introduction     225
General effects of deterministic stressors on populations     226
Habitat loss and fragmentation     226
Introduced and invasive species     233
Pollution     239
Overharvest     241
Global climate change     242
Synergistic effects among deterministic stressors     244
Summary     245
Further reading     247
Predicting the dynamics of small and declining populations     248
Introduction     248
Ecological characteristics predicting risk     249
The extinction vortex     250
Predicting risks in small populations     252
Population viability analysis: quantitative methods of assessing viability     254
Other approaches to assessing viability     265
Some closing thoughts about assessing viability     270
Summary     274
Further reading     275
Bridging applied population and ecosystem ecology with focal species concepts     276
Introduction     276
Flagship species     277
Umbrella species     277
Indicator species     279
Keystone species and strong interactors     281
Summary     284
Further reading     285
Population biology of harvested populations     286
Introduction     286
Effects of hunting on population dynamics     287
Long-term effects: hunting as a selective force     293
Models to guide sustainable harvest     295
Waterfowl harvest and adaptive harvest management     303
Management of overabundant and pest populations     305
Summary     306
Further reading     307
Epilogue     308
References     311
Species lists     348
Subject index     360
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