Integrated population model for black bears in Maine
March 2020 - May 2021
- Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
To assist the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in developing a cost-efficient monitoring program to inform their black bear management, we are developing an integrated model that estimates spatially explicit population size, movement patterns, and demographic rates of the Maine black bear population. Integrated models (IMs) unite data from multiple sources that are informative about demographic variables. IMs offer several important advantages over analyzing single datasets by themselves. IMs can estimate parameters that are inestimable from single data sets and do so more precisely. Multiple datasets can also overcome biases present in individual datasets, thus leading to more accurate estimates. IMs also can make use of datasets collected for different monitoring purposes at different times and locations, uniting seemingly disparate information to offer multi-scale inference on population patterns. IMs are therefore an efficient way to understand wildlife population dynamics, including survival and recruitment processes by making best use of all available information.