Natural Sciences >> Integrative Biology

Population Growth Analysis of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in the Citrus Tract of Florida

by Amanda Abel


Submitted : Spring 2011

Red-cockaded woodpeckers are a federally endangered species which receive special attention at the Citrus Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest in Florida. Since 2003 population data has been recorded. Known adult population will be focused on in this analysis. To be considered recovered, the population must increase to the estimated carrying capacity (K) of 230, or 100 clusters with an average of 2.3 individuals per cluster. Per capita increase was computed for years 2003 through 2010. The average per capita increase was found to be 0.07825 individuals per year. The exponential growth equation was used to predict the population growth in the absence of limitations at this per capita growth rate. These results were graphed, and the population would meet carrying capacity in 8 years based on this equation. Next, the logistic growth equation was applied which incorporates the carrying capacity. The results were graphed for twenty years into the future. At this point the population becomes very close to its limit of 230. The highest per capita growth rate observed was 0.28302 individuals per year. When substituting this value into the logistic population growth equation, the carrying capacity would be met in 7 years. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission may find this information helpful because in the year 2006 the per capita growth rate was the highest observed from the population data. Investigation into land management techniques and weather in this year may give clues to why reproduction was so successful in this year.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Mary Dowdell, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Research Institute
Gordon Fox, Integrative Biology
Suggested By :
Nancy Dwyer
Population Growth Analysis of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers  in the Citrus Tract of Florida