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Declines in large vertebrate populations are widespread but difficult to detect from monitoring data and hard to understand due to a multiplicity of plausible biological explanations. In parts of Scotland, harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) have been in decline for 10 years. To evaluate the contributions of different proximate causes (survival, fecundity,(More)
Phenological trends provide important indicators of environmental change and population dynamics. However, the use of untested population-level measures can lead to incorrect conclusions about phenological trends, particularly when changes in population structure or density are ignored. We used individual-based estimates of birth date and lactation duration(More)
Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence(More)
Monitoring trends in abundance of pinnipeds typically involves counting seals at terrestrial haul-out sites during the breeding season. Counts of seals made at other times of the year are typically lower; however, it is often unknown whether this is because fewer animals are present or whether lower counts simply reflect a reduction in haul-out probability.(More)
Hopefully, this approach represents a process that leads to open and constructive debate, to progress towards a better scientific understanding and to improvements in our ability to manage wildlife. Lonergan has examined our modeling in detail, and his critique raises a series of specific points and also some general questions about how data and expert(More)
Climate change is having profound impacts on animal populations, and shifts in geographic range are predicted in response. Shifts that result in range overlap between previously allopatric congeneric species may have consequences for biodiversity through interspecific competition, hybridization, and genetic introgression. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and(More)
In capture-recapture studies, the estimation accuracy of demographic parameters is essential to the efficacy of management of hunted animal populations. Dead recovery models based upon the reporting of rings or bands are often used for estimating survival of waterfowl and other harvested species. However, distance from the ringing site or condition of the(More)
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