Existing data on the mortality and production rates of the black duck (Anas rubripes) were used to construct a WATFIV computer simulation model. The yearly cycle was divided into 8 phases: hunting, wintering, reproductive, molt, post-molt, and juvenile dispersal mortality, and production from original and renesting attempts. The program computes population changes for sex and age classes during each phase. After completion of a standard simulation run with all variable default values in effect, a sensitivity analysis was conducted by changing each of 50 input variables, 1 at a time, to assess the responsiveness of the model to changes in each variable. Thirteen variables resulted in a substantial change in population level. Adult mortality factors were important during hunting and wintering phases. All production and mortality associated with original nesting attempts were sensitive, as was juvenile dispersal mortality. By identifying those factors which invoke the greatest population change, and providing an indication of the accuracy required in estimating these factors, the model helps to identify those variables which would be most profitable topics for future research.
|Title||Computer simulation models as tools for identifying research needs: A black duck population model|
|Authors||J.K. Ringelman, J. R. Longcore|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Transactions of the Northeast Section of the Wildlife Society, Annual Fish and Wildlife Conference|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center|