We used improved information on fecundity and credible estimates of survival to define the plausible bounds of maximum intrinsic rate of population increase (rm) in magpie geese and explored the management and conservation implications, given current estimates of off-take. We considered previous estimates of rm (0.78, based on time-series analysis of aerial count data) and the corresponding predicted maximum sustainable harvest rates (30-39% per annum) to be excessive, thereby risking poor management decisions. In contrast, our estimate of the maximum plausible range of r m (0.11-0.28) is substantially lower than the previous estimate, and suggests maximum harvest rates of no more than 5-14% of total population size per annum. We consider that it would be unwise to adopt the prior estimate of rm for management policy because it would risk over-exploitation. Our results embody a more precautionary approach to assessing maximum sustainable yield for magpie geese in northern Australia, and are not confounded by migration. The move from a simple empirical model to a partially mechanistic one reflects a significant improvement in understanding, but must nevertheless be viewed as part of an ongoing process of model refinement and testing. � CSIRO 2005.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|