Event Title

The Effects of Population Models on the Giant Panda

Location

CSU 284A

Start Date

5-4-2010 1:00 PM

End Date

5-4-2010 3:00 PM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Anne-Marie Hoskinson

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

One of the most talked about endangered species in China and the world is the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuc). Population models are quite commonly used to help researchers make decisions for managing wildlife populations of endangered species. I built a population model where the objective was to decide where researchers need to focus their attention when it comes to panda preservation. Population models were used in this research to predict how the populations of giant pandas may change over a period of time. In order to accomplish this, I used an age-structured model. This age-structured model was designed to show the total population of pandas at each age. Sensitivity analysis was chosen as the main focus because it can show the differences of variables and which ones affect the population the most. Sensitivity analysis is the study of how the variation (uncertainty) in the output of a mathematical model can be apportioned to different sources of variation in the input of a model. The results show that the focus should be on survival rates within the population with a surprising emphasis on adult survival more so than juvenile survival. Therefore, there needs to be a focus on expanding the panda’s habitat, thereby increasing its chance for survival and lowering its genetic isolation.

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM Apr 5th, 3:00 PM

The Effects of Population Models on the Giant Panda

CSU 284A

One of the most talked about endangered species in China and the world is the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuc). Population models are quite commonly used to help researchers make decisions for managing wildlife populations of endangered species. I built a population model where the objective was to decide where researchers need to focus their attention when it comes to panda preservation. Population models were used in this research to predict how the populations of giant pandas may change over a period of time. In order to accomplish this, I used an age-structured model. This age-structured model was designed to show the total population of pandas at each age. Sensitivity analysis was chosen as the main focus because it can show the differences of variables and which ones affect the population the most. Sensitivity analysis is the study of how the variation (uncertainty) in the output of a mathematical model can be apportioned to different sources of variation in the input of a model. The results show that the focus should be on survival rates within the population with a surprising emphasis on adult survival more so than juvenile survival. Therefore, there needs to be a focus on expanding the panda’s habitat, thereby increasing its chance for survival and lowering its genetic isolation.

Recommended Citation

Maher, Ashley. "The Effects of Population Models on the Giant Panda." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 5, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/oral-session-06/6