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Population Viability Analysis: A protocol for best practice

A Protocol for Better Design, Application, and Communication of Population Viability Analyses


Population viability analyses (PVAs) serve as central tools in nature conservation. PVAs focus on particular species in a given landscape and address a specific problem. They are usually complex, and thus hard to design, apply and communicate in an easy way. Here we provide a best practice protocol for Design, Application, and Communication of PVAs.

This protocol enables you to enhance communication and repeatability of your PVA, strengthen its credibility and relevance for policy and management, and improve the capacity to generalize from PVA findings across studies.

The website addresses four main questions:

  1. What is a useful PVA?
    Here we introduce the elements of good modeling in general, and elements of an informed PVA in particular.
  2. What should be the best practice to design a useful PVA?
    Using an interactive approach, we guide the selection of modelling approach and software, and highlight important choices that need to be made.
  3. How do we apply a useful PVA?
    We collected for you a set of guidelines on important aspects during PVA application, e.g, regarding parameter exploration addressing uncertainty, and the selection of time horizon or viability measure.
  4. How do we communicate a PVA to ensure clarity, comprehensiveness, repeatability, and comparability?
    Try our structured reporting standard. We offer a set of elements required for achieving comprehensive communication of any PVA. The report is built on 5 sections, and is accompanied by guidelines for each element. For your convenience, you can reply the questions directly in the site, and prepare your own report on the spot.
In addition, we offer a set of answers to FAQs.

Note: The DAC-PVA protocol is based on the following publication:
Pe'er, G., Y. G. Matsinos, K. Johst, K. W. Franz, C. Turlure, V. Radchuk, A. H. Malinowska, J. M. R. Curtis, I. Naujokaitis-Lewis, B. A. Wintle, and K. Henle. 2013. A protocol for better design, application and communication of population viability analyses. Conservation Biology 27:644-656. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12076

The DAC-PVA as well as this website are new and constantly evolving. We therefore welcome any comments and suggestions. Should there be any question which remains open, please contact us.

Yours, the PVA team


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CONDITIONS OF USE: We explicitly encourage the use of SCALETOOL. SCALETOOL is freely available for non-commercial use provided you acknowledge SCALES as source. For more extensive access to databases (e.g. for statistical analyses or if you want to contribute data), tools, or background material, please contact the SCALES coordinator (send us email).

All rights reserved. USE THIS SOFTWARE AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE SCALES TEAM WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT DAMAGE OR LOSS CAUSED BY THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THIS SOFTWARE.

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