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Doctoral thesis, 2016

Linking movement ecology with the management of mobile species

Allen, Andrew


A central goal in conserving, or managing, biodiversity is to identify the spatial scale of management. Traditional approaches like protected areas aim to delineate boundaries, within which species are managed. These boundaries are set using, among others, species richness targets and political borders, but often fail to consider species movements. Subsequently, a number of challenges may arise once individuals leave demarcated areas, such as poaching or encroachment on human-dominated areas. An ongoing dilemma is that many species cannot be managed within a single area because their movements are too large, migratory birds are a classic example. These challenges point to the requirement for an improved understanding of species’ movements to not only delineate management areas, but also to identify alternative management actions that increase the scale and flexibility of management. My dissertation identifies how movement ecology may guide wildlife management. I first outline a conceptual framework that provides guidance for linking movement ecology with conservation and wildlife management. The framework is then applied through a sequence of five studies that a) provide guidance on a method that classifies and quantifies movements, b) improves our understanding of how to scale up individual movements to population patterns, c) links the movement of individuals to their reproductive performance, d) estimates population size from age-specific harvest data and e) evaluates hunting of moose in Sweden using the ecosystem exploitation hypothesis. These studies were developed using the moose (Alces alces) in Sweden, an example of a species with diverse movement patterns that is typically managed in demarcated areas like moose management areas (e.g. Sweden) or wildlife management units (e.g. Canada). In a global context, the results of my dissertation illustrate how movement ecology may guide the management of mobile species, and nationally it complements the recently adopted moose management system in Sweden. Following my research, I encourage conservationists and managers to explore new ways of strengthening the link between movement ecology and management of mobile species.


Wildlife management; Movement Ecology; Moose

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2016, number: 2016:96
ISBN: 978-91-576-8694-7, eISBN: 978-91-576-8695-4
Publisher: Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Allen, Andrew
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

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