PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOBIOLOGICAL MODELLING OF MOOSE (ALCES ALCES ANDERSONI) OF THE NORTH AMERICAN TAIGA
Principles of sociobiological [SB] control of taiga moose population well being are described. These principles are in contrast to the present models oriented to achieving maximum harvest, a policy dangerous to the ecosystem and undesirable in view of anti-hunting propaganda. The SB modeling is focused on the species-specific ranges of social infrastructures adapted to ecosystem equilibria. It is based on the knowledge that living populations are composed of overlapping generations of various fitness. Thus, there is not an average mortality rate as implied by life tables. In the models described here, we chose three fitness classes, each with a different set of mortality and recruitment parameters. The other important factor in population behavior is the species-specific rate of maturation which is governed by inherited programs. These programs are flexible and within ranges are responsive to social and other extrinsic factors. The SB-modelling developed in this study relies on the experience that generations of similar social importance build cohorts of social classes [SC], for which intra- and inter-sexual optimum ratios can be simulated. In the field the SC-ratios can be monitored by observing morphological and behavioral cues.
Physiological parameters obtained from trapped or harvested individuals can be used to define the SC-pattern. This is of paramount practical importance, because these SC-measurements indicate whether the population is in social order or disorder. In the SB-concept only those animals which are supernumerary for population and ecosystem well-being can be harvested. Practical aspects of the concept are discussed and shown graphically.
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