Development of an adaptive harvest management program for Taiga bean geese

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Abstract

This report describes recent progress in specifying the elements of an adaptive harvest program for taiga bean goose. It describes harvest levels appropriate for first rebuilding the population of the Central Management Unit and then maintaining it near the goal specified in the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP). This report also provides estimates of the length of time it would take under ideal conditions (no density dependence and no harvest) to rebuild depleted populations in the Western and Eastern Management Units. We emphasize that our estimates are a first approximation because detailed demographic information is lacking for taiga bean geese. Using allometric relationships, we estimated parameters of a thetalogistic matrix population model. The mean intrinsic rate of growth was estimated as r = 0.150 (90% credible interval: 0.120 – 0.182). We estimated the mean form of density dependence as   2.361 (90% credible interval: 0.473 – 11.778), suggesting the strongest density dependence occurs when the population is near its carrying capacity. Based on expert opinion, carrying capacity (i.e., population size expected in the absence of hunting) for the Central Management Unit was estimated as K  87,900 (90% credible interval: 82,000 – 94,100). The ISSAP specifies a population goal for the Central Management Unit of 60,000 – 80,000 individuals in winter; thus, we specified a preliminary objective function as one which would minimize the difference between this goal and population size. Using the concept of stochastic dominance to explicitly account for uncertainty in demography, we determined that optimal harvest rates for 5, 10, 15, and 20-year time horizons were h = 0.00, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.06, respectively. These optima represent a tradeoff between the harvest rate and the time required to achieve and maintain a population size within desired bounds. We recognize, however, that regulation of absolute harvest rather than harvest rate is more practical, but our matrix model does not permit one to calculate an exact harvest associated with a specific harvest rate. Approximate harvests for current population size in the Central Management Unit are 0, 1,200, 2,300, and 3,500 for the 5, 10, 15, and 20-year time horizons, respectively. Populations of taiga bean geese in the Western and Eastern Units would require at least 10 and 13 years, respectively, to reach their minimum goals under the most optimistic of scenarios. The presence of harvest, density dependence, or environmental variation could extend these time frames considerably. Finally, we stress that development and implementation of internationally coordinated monitoring programs will be essential to further development and implementation of an adaptive harvest management program.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Development of an adaptive harvest management program for Taiga bean geese
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 28 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title First meeting of the AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group
First page 1
Last page 28
Conference Title First meeting of the AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group
Conference Location Kristianstad, Sweden
Conference Date December 14-16, 2016