Management of wildlife species to conserve them needs to evaluate whether the conservation aim(s) has been achieved. Managers and researchers can be very confident (stronger inference) to uncertain (weaker inference) about whether an aim has been achieved and whether that was caused by management. There are three broad options for evaluations; first, those showing trajectories over time; second, those showing responses to management efforts; and third, those showing trajectories over time in response to management. All approaches should use analysis of response to evaluate management effects, and evaluate predictions of trends and effects of management efforts, in order to strengthen causal inferences. We illustrate the options with examples from wild populations around the world.
Jim is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Canberra. His research focus is wildlife ecology and management, especially the evaluation of theory and on-ground management. He has published on wildlife in Australia, New Zealand, North America, and the UK.