[MARMAM] New paper on population viability of Antillean manatees

Nataly Castelblanco castelblanco.nataly at gmail.com
Sun Aug 26 08:23:45 PDT 2012


Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to inform that the following paper has just been published
(Apologies for cross-posting!):


*Castelblanco-Martínez D, Nourisson C, Quintana-Rizzo E, Padilla-Saldivar
J, Schmitter-Soto J. 2012. Potential effects of human pressure and habitat
fragmentation on population viability of the Antillean manatee Trichechus
manatus manatus: a predictive model. Endanger Spec Res. 18:129-145. *[
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v18/n2/p129-145/]

ABSTRACT: We present a population viability analysis for the metapopulation
of the Antillean manatee *Trichechus manatus manatus* with the aim of
predicting its tendencies under various hypothetical scenarios of
conservation. Multiple individual Monte Carlo simulations of deterministic
and stochastic factors were run on VORTEX 9.73 software. Populations were
defined using genetic structure, geographic barriers, and typical ranging
behavior. Demographic characteristics and life history parameters were
inferred from the most recent compilation of information on the subspecies
or were extrapolated from the Florida manatee *T. m. latirostris*. The
baseline model describes a metapopulation with a positive growth. This
model was sensitive to changes in mortality, but did not show any
significant response to variations in assumed carrying capacity, age at
first reproduction, maximum reproductive age, or initial population size.
We simulated different scenarios by modifying human pressure, habitat
fragmentation, and catastrophic events (i.e. hurricanes). Additional
combined models were developed to simulate the best- and worst-case
scenarios for human pressure level and fragmentation. The model suggested
that the metapopulation would not be able to withstand an annual
anthropogenically induced mortality rate >5%. A decrease in the survival of
transient individuals could also lead to a decline of the population.
Variations of the hurricane parameters did not yield important changes in
the population curves, but other effects of climatic change are discussed.
The extensive geographical area used by manatees requires international
collaboration to ensure the protection of the metapopulation through
effective conservation strategies across countries.

KEY WORDS: Population ecology · *Trichechus manatus manatus* ·
Human-related mortality · Connectivity · Tropical ecosystems · VORTEX

More information upon request from me (castelblanco.nataly at gmail.com)
-- 

Nataly Castelblanco-Martínez, Ph.D
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal.
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