Conservation Biology

Risk Analysis

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Science  06 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5514, pp. 17
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5514.17a

Conservation and land use planners often desire information about the vulnerability of populations and of species to extinction—so-called population viability analyses (PVA). However, for most species there are insufficient existing data for such analyses, and so there is a need for a reliable method that can categorize species according to their extinction risk. Using population time-series data from the Global Population Dynamics Database for more than 750 species (representing mammals, birds, marine fish, and butterflies and moths), Fagan et al. identify three broad categories according to the class of population dynamics exhibited. They find that nonlinear effects are so pronounced for most populations that, during a 100-year period, extinction is the likely outcome unless inward dispersal of new individuals can replenish them. — AMS

Ecol. Lett.4, 132 (2001).

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