**INTRODUCTION
TO WILDLIFE POPULATION ECOLOGY (WIS4501)**

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**COURSE OBJECTIVES:**

This course is designed to expose students to concepts and models in population ecology, and their application to conservation and management of wildlife populations. By the end of the semester, students will:

•Have a thorough understanding of various models of population dynamics;

•Become familiar with the application of concepts and models in population
ecology to conservation and management of wildlife populations; and

•Become familiar with concepts and models of species interaction, and
mechanisms of population regulation and population cycles.

**GRADING:**

Grading will be based on:

Mid-term exam | 30% |

Homework problems | 25% |

In-classes quizzes | 10% |

Final exam (cumulative) | 35% |

Total | 100% |

Final course grades will be assigned as follows: 90-100% = A, 85-89% =
B+, 80-84% = B, 75-79% = C+, 70-74% = C, 65 - 69% = D+, 60-64 = D, and
<60% = E.

**COURSE OUTLINE**

**PART I. INTRODUCTION**

1. Population ecology: what and why?

2. Population ecology as science

**PART II. POPULATION GROWTH I: UNSTRUCTURED MODELS**

1. Models in population ecology

2. BIDE model

3. Exponential population growth models

4. Density dependence

5. Logistic population growth models

**PART III. POPULATION GROWTH II: STRUCTURED MODELS**

1. Life tables: construction and analysis

• Age structure: why it matters

• Methods of compiling life tables/fecundity tables

• Life table analysis (generation times, net reproductive rates, population
growth rates etc.)

2. Age- and stage-structured matrix population models

• Age-structured (Leslie) matrix models

• Matrix algebra review

•Population projection,
population growth rate, stable age distribution & reproductive values

• Sensitivity/elasticity analysis

• Life-cycle graphs and stage-structured models

• Analysis of stage-structured models

• Model modification and limitations

**PART IV. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS**

1. Spatial structure of populations; why space matters

2. Metapopulations and extinction risk

3. Models of metapopulation dynamics

• Classic metapopulation (Levin’s) model

• Spatially realistic metapopulation theory

• Overview of incidence function model (IFM) and stochastic patch occupancy
model (SPOM)

**PART V. POPULATION VIABILITY ANALYSIS (PVA)**

1. Introduction to PVA: what, why and how?

2. Components of PVA

3. Viability of PVA: evaluating PVA results

4. Overview of PVA models

**PART VI. POPULATION REGULATION**

1. Density-dependence revisited

2. Hypotheses of population regulation

3. Population regulation vs. population limitation

**PART VII. POPULATION CYCLES**

1. What are population cycles?

2. Hypotheses of population cycles

3. Empirical evidence

**PART VIII. SPECIES INTERACTIONS**

1. Competition

Nature of competition

Lotka-Volterra competition model

2. Predation

Nature of predation

Lotka-Volterra predation model

3. Dynamics of infectious diseases

SIR model

**PART IX. LIFE-HISTORY**

1. Life-history traits

2. r-K selection and bet-hedging

3. Life history trade-offs

4. Evolution of life-history traits

5. Cole’s dilemma: semelparity or iteroparity?