How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates

Jim HONE, Anthony Buckmaster

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research, and related Australian and overseas scientific and ‘grey’ literature. The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated. The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-479
    Number of pages7
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume41
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    pig
    Macropodidae
    wildlife
    wildlife management
    cats
    swine
    mathematical analysis
    refining
    statistical analysis

    Cite this

    @article{67e4ab5918e9443fa1b5e179216ede23,
    title = "How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates",
    abstract = "The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research, and related Australian and overseas scientific and ‘grey’ literature. The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated. The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.",
    keywords = "feral cat, feral pig, population estimation, red kangaroo, wildlife management.",
    author = "Jim HONE and Anthony Buckmaster",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.1071/WR14059",
    language = "English",
    volume = "41",
    pages = "473--479",
    journal = "Australian Wildlife Research",
    issn = "1035-3712",
    publisher = "CSIRO",
    number = "6",

    }

    How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates. / HONE, Jim; Buckmaster, Anthony.

    In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2014, p. 473-479.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates

    AU - HONE, Jim

    AU - Buckmaster, Anthony

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research, and related Australian and overseas scientific and ‘grey’ literature. The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated. The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.

    AB - The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research, and related Australian and overseas scientific and ‘grey’ literature. The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated. The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.

    KW - feral cat

    KW - feral pig

    KW - population estimation

    KW - red kangaroo

    KW - wildlife management.

    U2 - 10.1071/WR14059

    DO - 10.1071/WR14059

    M3 - Article

    VL - 41

    SP - 473

    EP - 479

    JO - Australian Wildlife Research

    JF - Australian Wildlife Research

    SN - 1035-3712

    IS - 6

    ER -