David Shanafelt talk


Thursday, March 2, 2017


12:30 pm


RH 310

David Shanafelt
Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling
Station d'Ecologie Théorique et Experimentale du Centre national de la recherche scientifique

"The optimal timing of reintroducing captive populations into the wild"

Abstract: We examine a conservation problem in which the recovery of an endangered species depends on a captive breeding and reintroduction program. The model is applied to the case of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), an endangered species in North America reliant on captive breeding for survival. The timing of reintroduction is an important concern in these programs as there is a tradeoff between the duration (and therefore the cost) of the captive breeding program and the period the population spends in recovery and in the wild. In this paper, we develop a stylized bioeconomic model to determine the optimal reintroduction time, in which the objective is to minimize the cost of reintroduction while providing a viably-sized population in the wild. Our control variable is the timing of reintroduction, which departs from a large body of work in bioeconomics that focus on adjustable controls that directly affect the target population. Generally we find that it is optimal to reintroduce ferrets early in a reintroduction program, but this result is sensitive to the degree of species interactions and provisioning services.

Pizza lunch at noon in Rocky 305

Diane Winkler

Mathematics Department