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Conservation of Wildlife Populations: Demography, Genetics, and Managementby Scott. Mills
Synopses & Reviews
Professor L. Scott Mills has been named a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow by the board of trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Conservation of Wildlife Populations provides an accessible introduction to the most relevant concepts and principles for solving real-world management problems in wildlife and conservation biology. Bringing together insights from traditionally disparate disciplines, the book shows how population biology addresses important questions involving the harvest, monitoring, and conservation of wildlife populations.
Artwork from the book is available to instructors online at www.blackwellpublishing.com/mills. An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at HigherEducation@wiley.com for more information.
Book News Annotation:
Mills (wildlife biology, U. of Montana) draws from population ecology, demography, and population genetics in order to introduce the concepts and principles important for solving real-world management problem in genetics to a student audience already versed in basic ecology and (hopefully) genetics. He begins with coverage of historical and current extinction rates, the dynamics of human population growth, study design and ethics, genetics essentials for connecting genetic and demographic approaches, and the estimation of within-population vital rates. The population processes that form the basis for applied management are then introduced in chapters that discuss exponential and density-dependent population growth, stage- structured population dynamics, predation, effects of genetic variation on population dynamics, and animal spacing within and among populations. This conceptual material is then synthesized in chapters dealing with deterministic factors leading to population decline, specific issues related to small and declining populations, the use of focal species to bridge population biology and ecosystem approaches, and harvest theory and practice. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Conservation of Wildlife Populations provides an accessible introduction to the most relevant concepts and principles for solving real-world management problems in wildlife and conservation biology. Bringing together insights from traditionally disparate disciplines, the book shows how population biology addresses important questions involving the harvest, monitoring, and conservation of wildlife populations. The most up-to-date approaches for assessing factors that affect both population growth and interactions with other species are covered in detail, including predation, genetic changes, harvest, introduced species, viability analysis, and habitat loss and fragmentation.
Conservation of Wildlife Populations is an essential guide for undergraduates and postgraduate students of wildlife biology, conservation biology, ecology, and environmental studies; and will be invaluable for practising managers requiring an up-to-date assessment of how population biology can be applied to wildlife conservation and management.
L. Scott Mills is a Professor in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana. His research and teaching integrates field studies with population models and genetic analyses to understand effects of human perturbations on wildlife populations.
About the Author
"An outstanding text highly suitable for our postgraduate students and even conservation scientists, offering an international perspective into the discipline of conservation and management of wildlife populations … .Mills has been particularly effective in getting down to the simple nuts and bolts of what may appear to be daunting concepts and equations for either the conceptually or statistically challenged ecologist." (New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Winter/Spring 2008)
“A well-organized, well-written, and entertaining introduction to the study of population biology ….Mills uses personal experience as a tool to infuse his message of ethics.” (Ecology)
“[Mills] writes in an engaging style … .Avoiding the temptation to see the world in black and white, Mills emphasizes that uncertainty is as much a part of conservation biology as the conceptual foundations and quantitative tools that make up our collective toolbox. Mills generally presents concepts in very understandable terms … he backs these up with numerous examples from his work and the broader literature. With this book under their belt, students will have the foundation to pursue more advanced coursework and understand why they should. In doing this, Mills has succeeded in filling an important void.” (Conservation Biology)
“Scott Mills has written a valuable advanced text for those who will be practitioners of wildlife management. Provides a nice blend of the negative human effects often seen in conservation texts, balanced with the importance of proactive wildlife management. Those looking for an advanced text on population management with numerous examples and effective integration of demography and genetic concepts along with a variety of standard and more recent management approaches will find this text a valuable resource.” (Journal of Heredity)
Table of Contents
List of boxes.
List of symbols.
PART I: Background to applied population biology.
1. The Big Picture: Human population dynamics meets applied population biology.
Population ecology of humans.
Extinction rates of other species.
Humans and sustainable harvest.
The big picture.
2. Designing studies and interpreting population biology data: how do we know what we know?.
Obtaining reliable facts through sampling.
Linking observed facts to ideasmind leads to understanding.
Ethics and the wildlife population biologist.
3. Genetic concepts and tools to support wildlife population biology.
What is genetic variation?.
Genetic markers used in wildlife population biology.
Insights into wildlife population biology using genetic tools.
4. Estimating population vital rates.
Estimating abundance and density.
Estimation of reproduction.
PART II: POPULATION PROCESSES: THE BASIS FOR MANAGEMENT.
5. The simplest way to describe and project population growth: exponential and geometric change.
Fundamentals of geometric or exponential growth.
Causes and consequences of variation in population growth.
Quantifying population growth in a stochastic environment.
6. Density dependent population change.
Negative density dependence.
Positive density dependence.
The logistic: one simple model of negative density-dependent population growth.
Some counterintuitive dynamics: limit cycles and chaos.
7. Accounting for age and sex-specific differences: population projection models.
Anatomy of a population-projection matrix.
How timing of sampling affects the matrix.
Projecting a matrix through time.
Adding stochasticity to a matrix model.
8. Predation and wildlife populations.
Does predation affect prey numbers?.
Factors affecting how predation impacts prey numbers.
9. Genetic Variation and Fitness of Wildlife Populations.
Long-term benefits of genetic variation.
What determines levels of genetic variation in populations?.
Quantifying the loss of heterozygosity: the inbreeding coefficient.
When does inbreeding lead to inbreeding depression?.
What to do when faced with inbreeding depression?.
10. Dynamics of Multiple Populations.
Connectivity among populations.
Measuring connectivity among wildlife populations.
Multiple populations are not all equal.
Options for restoring connectivity.
PART III: APPLYING KNOWLEDGE OF POPULATION PROCESSES TO PROBLEMS OF DECLINING, SMALL, OR HARVESTABLE POPULATIONS.
11. Human Perturbations: Deterministic Factors Leading to Population Decline.
General effects of deterministic stressors on populations.
Habitat loss and fragmentation.
Introduced and invasive species.
Global climate change.
Synergistic effects among deterministic stressors.
12. Predicting the dynamics of small and declining populations.
Ecological characteristics predicting risk.
The extinction vortex.
Predicting risks in small populations.
Population viability analysis: quantitative methods of assessing viability.
Other approaches to assessing viability.
Some closing thoughts about assessing viability.
13. Bridging applied population and ecosystem ecology with focal species concepts.
Keystone species and strong interactors.
14. Population biology of harvested populations.
Effects of hunting on population dynamics.
Long term effects: hunting as a selective force.
Models to guide sustainable harvests.
Waterfowl harvest and adaptive harvest management.
Management of overabundant and pest populations.
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