Strengths and Weaknesses of a Population Viability Analysis for Philippine Tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta)
Author: Neri-Arboleda, Irene
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 31, Number 6, December 2010 , pp. 1192-1207(16)
Abstract:Population viability analysis (PVA) has been increasingly used to guide conservation planning for many primate species. I present an assessment of a PVA for Philippine tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) in Corella, Bohol. The objectives were to determine 1) area requirements and 2) spatial configurations of habitat patches necessary for viable populations in Corella. I used available life history parameters and ecological data for the Philippine tarsier derived from a radiotelemetry study on 4 male and 6 female Tarsius syrichta in Corella from early March to October 1999. I used analysis of the likelihood of extinction (ALEX), a Monte Carlo simulation model that uses pseudorandom numbers to simulate a scenario involving different stochastic processes. Sensitivity analysis showed that the model output, i.e. extinction risk, was influenced by the values used for newborn, juvenile, and adult mortality but the effect of variation on adult mortality was more pronounced; a slight increase in adult mortality renders the population very unstable. Simulation of movements between habitat patches showed that addition of diffusion corridors and variation in diffusion parameters did not significantly alter the probability of extinction of the species. Models are only as useful as the data that are input, and a major weakness of this model is the lack of detailed life history and mortality data for Philippine tarsiers. Future studies should concentrate on obtaining more life history data and ecological data from additional localities. I discuss key priorities for future research that include use of alternative PVA software, a simpler modeling approach, and extensive genetic studies of different Philippine tarsier island populations.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Arboleda Veterinary Professional Corp., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: December 2010