Optimal Management of a Goose Flyway: Migrant Management at Minimum Cost

Klaassen, M, Bauer, S., Madsen, J. and Possingham, Hugh (2008) Optimal Management of a Goose Flyway: Migrant Management at Minimum Cost. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45 5: 1446-1452. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01532.x

Author Klaassen, M
Bauer, S.
Madsen, J.
Possingham, Hugh
Title Optimal Management of a Goose Flyway: Migrant Management at Minimum Cost
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8901
Publication date 2008-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01532.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 45
Issue 5
Start page 1446
End page 1452
Total pages 7
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley- Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Abstract We adopt a 'whole flyway' approach to modelling scenarios for protecting migratory birds, aiming at efficient and cost-effective conservation of flyway habitat. We developed a model to minimize flyway management costs while safeguarding a migrating bird population. The model assumes that the intensity of the birds' use of sites can be manipulated by varying management regimes (with concomitant costs) and that the birds make optimal use of the conditions created along their flyway. We used dynamic programming to find the sequence of migratory decisions that maximizes the fitness of the migrants given a range of management scenarios, followed by a management cost estimate of all these scenarios and selection of those scenarios yielding an optimal solution from both an economic and the migrants' perspective. Using the population of pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus that breed in Svalbard as an example, we calculated that the cheapest management scenario given current compensation payment rates at the various goose stopover sites yielded a 35% cost saving over current management. This cheapest scenario provides a migration itinerary that is very similar to the current itinerary used by the geese. This is fortuitous since changing environmental conditions may put the migrants at risk. Synthesis and application. Given the global threats to migratory birds, developing a framework for efficient and effective conservation of flyway habitat is an urgent need. Such a framework may likewise be used to assist in controlling migrants causing conflict with agriculture, such as several goose species, in an economic and responsible fashion. Our suggested exemplified framework identified large unexplainable differences in management costs between regions. Differences in management costs between staging sites for birds make big differences to the optimal management of a flyway. Hence, to achieve efficient and effective management of migratory birds, we firstly need an objective assessment of the cost of management in different locations, followed by a modelling approach as here advocated, and followed up by a collaborative action of managers along the entire flyway.
Keyword pink-footed goose
Anser brachyrhynchus
dynamic programming
economic costs
flyway management
nature conservation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 02:44:50 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences