When to stop managing or surveying cryptic threatened species
Iadine Chades, Eve McDonald-Madden, Michael A McCarthy, Brendan Wintle, Matthew Linkie, Hugh P Possingham
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2008
Threatened species become increasingly difficult to detect as their populations decline. Managers of such cryptic threatened species face several dilemmas: if they are not sure the species is present, should they continue to manage for that species or invest the limited resources in surveying? We find optimal solutions to this problem using a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process and rules of thumb derived from an analytical approximation. We discover that managing a protected area for a cryptic threatened species can be optimal even if we are not sure the species is present. The more threatened and valuable the species is, relative to the costs of management, the more likely we are t..View full abstract
Law enforcement data for this report were supplied by D. Martyr from Fauna & Flora International. We are grateful to T.G. Martin, O. Buffet, L. Peret, F. Garcia, and A. Cassandra for valuable discussions. Comments by N. Peyrard and T.G. Martin improved this manuscript. This work has been supported by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (I.C.), Applied Environmental Decision Analysis Centre, an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship, The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre within the Detection, Prevention and Mitigation Program (E.M.), and a Mid Year University of Queensland Research Scholarship from the University of Queensland (E.M.).