Assessing Population Trend and Risk of Extinction for Cetaceans Lacking Long-
Term Census Baselines
Department of Environmental Biology and Fishery Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Shiang-Lin Huang
Department of Environmental Biology and Fishery Science
National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: November 20, 2013; Accepted Date: November 26, 2013; Published Date: December 02, 2013
Citation: Huang SL (2013) Assessing Population Trend and Risk of Extinction for Cetaceans Lacking Long-Term Census Baselines. J Biodivers Endanger Species 1:115. doi:10.4172/2332-2543.1000115
Copyright: © 2013 Huang SL. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Assessment of population trend and risk of extinction, essential for informed conservation, needs baselines including percentage of population decline, extent of occurrence, population size, population structure and probabilities of extinction. Construction of these baselines usually claims long-term census efforts that are often insufficient or even lacking for many cetaceans, especially for those nearby rapidly developing countries. Restricted to variation from current census techniques, however, the approach based on long-term census database is unlikely to detect early or recent sign of population decline. Here, I propose an integrative perspective, the systematic demographic analysis, to solve life history and demographic parameters essential for status and risk assessment for the cetacean populations. Transect technique with the aid of GPS records and environmental characteristics can be used to estimate population abundance and figure the extent of occurrence and critical habitat, information essential for sound habitat protection. Capturemark- recapture technique based on the database from individual photo-ID histories can be used to estimate population size, apparent survival rate and life history parameters. Collections of stranded and by caught carcasses can be used to solve life history parameters, age-specific survivorships or mortality rates and population genetic diversity indirectly relating to population size. Applications of population viability analysis to above parameters such as VORTEX model or other individual-based stage/age matrix model that factors the stochasticity and uncertainty can be used to solve the likely range of rate of decline and extinction risk of threatened population. Finally, I emphasize the need to integrate the histories of long-term land use and landscape change when formulating habitat management programme for the rare and/or endangered populations to avoid skipping the low-sighting habitat from intense anthropogenic impacts.