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Simulating the proposed reintroduction of the European beaver (Castor fiber) to Scotland

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew South, Professor Stephen Rushton


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We developed a spatially explicit model for investigating the proposed reintroduction of the European beaver to Scotland. The model simulates the births and deaths of individuals and their dispersal between habitat patches, using a habitat template created from an existing land cover map which was derived from aerial photography. Uncertainty in model parameter estimates was accounted for by using high, medium and low values for each, derived from the literature. We used the model to predict the result of different release protocols and compared the predictions to those generated by application of a population viability analysis package, Vortex. Predictions of the two approaches were similar. We showed that predictions were particularly sensitive to the levels of the demographic parameters and that, providing these were set to at least medium levels, reintroduction sizes of 20 animals led to high persistence and population increase. We describe the potential use of simulation modelling at all stages in the reintroduction process. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): South A; Rushton S; MacDonald D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2000

Volume: 93

Issue: 1

Pages: 103-116

Print publication date: 01/04/2000

ISSN (print): 0006-3207

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2917

Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd.


DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00072-5


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