Minimizing extinction probability due to demographic stochasticity in a reintroduced herd of Persian fallow deer Dama dama mesopotamica

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Abstract

The Persian fallow deer Dama dama mesopotamica is extremely rare in the wild, but reintroduction of breeding animals from the Hai-Bar Carmel, Israel, may be feasible. A life table was constructed from data available in the world studbook. I used a Monte Carlo Leslie matrix simulation model to estimate probability of extinction due to demographic stochasticity, using different female age structures and numbers of individuals. Based on the simulations, 13 prime-aged females aged 2-4 years would be required to ensure an extinction probability of less than 1% over the next 100 years. Substituting older age groups increases extinction probability, thereby increasing the number of animals needed to achieve a 0.01 extinction probability. Due to poor reproductive success at the Hai-Bar Carmel prior to 1990, few females older than 5 are available. Also, there are no more than 11 females in each of the 2-4 years age groups. Thus a combination of eight 2-year-old and five 3-year-old females or seven 2-year-old, four 3-year-old, and two 4-year-old females is recommended. The choice between these two options should be based on genetic variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dama dama mesopotamica
  • Demographic stochasticity
  • Extinction
  • Persian fallow deer
  • Reintroduction

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