Evaluation of alternative management strategies of muskrat Ondatra zibethicus population control using a population model

D. Bos, R.C. Ydenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Muskrats Ondatra zibethicus are considered a pest species in the Netherlands, and a year-round control programme is in effect. Currently, the agency responsible for the management of muskrat populations in the Netherlands (the LCCM) is preparing for field studies to compare alternative strategies of control. In order to decide on the specific design of such field studies, a population dynamic model was built. The model compares the current management strategy with alternatives in which the effort is focused in space or in time. The model allows us to prioritise future research questions. The major gaps in knowledge at this moment are: 1) insight into the costs of harvesting at different harvest rates, and 2) the relationship between population density on the one hand and (financial damage or) safety risk on the other hand. We suggest continuing the current management, and to test our hypothesis that intensifying harvest will lead to lower numbers of animals killed in the medium term than more extensive harvest rates. The muskrat control programme offers excellent opportunities for applied biological studies of which the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-155
JournalWildlife Biology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • experimental marshes
  • dynamics
  • habitat
  • harvest
  • mink

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of alternative management strategies of muskrat Ondatra zibethicus population control using a population model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this