Principles of population viability analysis (PVA)

A checklist of the basics

Population viability analysis (PVA) is a model-based protocol for characterising and predicting future fluctuations in a species’ abundance. PVA is a potentially powerful tool for predicting a species’ response to natural and anthropogenic impacts and for evaluating management options in terms of their contribution to a species’ long-term persistence. PVA can be based on models as simple as a single parameter population growth model through to quite complex simulation models that incorporate stochastic landscape and ecological processes, usually involving estimation of many parameters.

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