Managing moose harvests by the seat of your pants

Boyce, M. S., Baxter, P. W. J., & Possingham, H. P. (2012) Managing moose harvests by the seat of your pants. Theoretical Population Biology, 82(4), pp. 340-347.

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Moose populations are managed for sustainable yield balanced against costs caused by damage to forestry or agriculture and collisions with vehicles. Optimal harvests can be calculated based on a structured population model driven by data on abundance and the composition of bulls, cows, and calves obtained by aerial-survey monitoring during winter. Quotas are established by the respective government agency and licenses are issued to hunters to harvest an animal of specified age or sex during the following autumn. Because the cost of aerial monitoring is high, we use a Management Strategy Evaluation to evaluate the costs and benefits of periodic aerial surveys in the context of moose management. Our on-the-fly "seat of your pants" alternative to independent monitoring is management based solely on the kill of moose by hunters, which is usually sufficient to alert the manager to declines in moose abundance that warrant adjustments to harvest strategies. Harvests are relatively cheap to monitor; therefore, data can be obtained each year facilitating annual adjustments to quotas. Other sources of "cheap" monitoring data such as records of the number of moose seen by hunters while hunting also might be obtained, and may provide further useful insight into population abundance, structure and health. Because conservation dollars are usually limited, the high cost of aerial surveys is difficult to justify when alternative methods exist. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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ID Code: 82395
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Adaptive management, Harvest models, Hunting, Management Strategy Evaluation, Monitoring, Sustainable yield, alternative agriculture, cost-benefit analysis, crop yield, habitat conservation, harvesting, population modeling, rodent, animal, article, deer, environmental protection, theoretical model, Animals, Conservation of Natural Resources, Models, Theoretical, Animalia
DOI: 10.1016/j.tpb.2012.03.002
ISSN: 00405809 (ISSN)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Academic Press
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2015 07:17
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2015 05:43

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