Applied Demography

Applied demography involves using the knowledge gained from analyzing and understanding populations in order to manage them effectively. The synthesis reviews basic concepts of demography and their application to management of wild populations. There are several major drivers of population change that operate in different ways, including birth rates, death rates, changes in sex ratios, and migration. These concepts can be formalized into mathematical population models that can be used to make predictions about populations under different management scenarios. Four case studies (including the Giant Galápagos Tortoise) are used to illustrate the real-world application of demographic concepts to rare species conservation.

View this module in other languages:
Demografía Aplicada (Spanish)

See also:
Parrots and Palms: Analyzing Data to Determine Best Management Strategies and Sustainable Harvest Levels
Parrot Conservation in the Neotropics
Metapopulations

Theme: Conservation Management

Language: English

Region: Global

Keywords: conservation, management, modeling, population dynamics, sustainable, critical thinking

Components: 6

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Synthesis: Applied Demography

Author: J.P. Gibbs

   

This synthesis reviews basic concepts of demography and their application to management of wild populations. The synthesis begins by discussing basic definitions (such as âwhat is a population?â) and then reviews the major drivers of population change and how these operate. These include birth rates, death rates, changes in sex ratios, and migration. The synthesis then recapitulates these concepts in a mathematical form to provide students with a more formal understanding of basic concepts of applied demography. This formalization is used to illustrate how population models can be used to make predictions about populations under different management scenarios. Three case studies are used to illustrate the real-world application of demographic concepts to rare species conservation. A glossary of key terms is provided.


explore

Recommended Resource: Modeling Populations and Species Interactions Lecture

Source: HHMI BioInteractive

In this 30-minute lecture, Dr. Corina Tarnita describes how she uses population growth models to assess the recovery of different animal species in Gorongosa National Park. Presented as part of the HHMI BioInteractive Holiday Lecture Series 2015: Patterns and Processes in Ecology, we recommend this lecture can be combined with other lectures in the series, or in conjunction with interactive activities exploring population models, such as the Click and Learn: Population Dynamics.


practice

Exercise: Applied Demography: Parrots and Palms

Author: J.P. Gibbs

   

This exercise presents a scenario and raw data on a realistic conflict between parrot conservation and palm tree harvest. It requires that students analyze data very comparable to what would be gathered in the field, to (1) construct a life tables for the palm and parrot, (2) extract vital statistics about both the palm and parrot population from the life tables, (3) estimate maximum sustainable yield for both species, and (4) make a decision about the sustainability of harvest intensity.


teach

Presentation: Applied Demography

Author: J.P. Gibbs

Teaching Notes: Applied Demography

Author: J.P. Gibbs

Solutions: Applied Demography: Parrots and Palms

Author: J.P. Gibbs


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