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    • Keywords


      Bet hedging; Bitterroot wilderness; environmental correlation; grizzly bear; least tern; Sterna antillarum ; Ursus arctos horribilis

    • Abstract


      One of the early tenets of conservation biology is that population viability is enhanced by maintaining multiple populations of a species. The strength of this tenet is justified by principles of bet-hedging. Management strategies that reduce variance in population size will also reduce risk of extinction. Asynchrony in population fluctuations in independent populations reduces variance in the aggregate of populations whereas environmental correlation among areas increases the risk that all populations will go extinct. We review the theoretical rationale of bet-hedging and suggest applications for conservation management of least terns in Nebraska and grizzly bears in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. The risk of extinction for least terns will be reduced if we can sustain the small central Platte River population in addition to the larger population on the lower Platte. Similarly, by restoring grizzly bears to the Bitterroot wilderness of Idaho and Montana can reduce the probability of extinction for grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains of the United States by as much as 69–93%.

    • Author Affiliations


      Mark S Boyce1 Eileen M Kirsch1 2 Christopher Servheen1 2

      1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta - T6G 2E9, Canada
      2. US Geological Survey, Division of Biological Resources, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, 2630 Fanta Reed Road, La Crosse, WI - 54603, USA
    • Dates

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