In 2001, BBC On-line published an article about my research program focusing on how models can be used to predict human behavior toward wildlife.
Deriving its name from its unique yellow eyes, the yellow-eyed penguin, Megadyptes antipodes, is the rarest of the world's penguins. It is also the oldest penguin species, dating back some 30 million years. Standing around 63 centimeters tall, and weighing between 11 and 18 pounds, it is the third largest of the world's penguins.

Yellow-eyed penguins are found only on the South Island of New Zealand and its outlying sub-Antarctic islands. When most people think of penguins, they picture large colonies on ice flows in the Antarctic. However, the yellow-eyed penguin is quite a different bird. Yellow-eyed penguins do not live on ice and spend a surprisingly small amount of time in the sea.

This page is intended for people with more than a passing interest in how ecological and bioeconomic models may be used to help us understand the world around us, and how to solve problems associated with the decline of species. Those with a casual interest should read the BBC Online article to the left and the articles on the Wildlife Economics page. If you're still interested, then read this article and the article on African Wild Dogs below. For the truly adventurous, and the mathematically inclined, take a look at the articles on elephants, yellow-eyed penguins and why we favor some species.
One of the problems with current bioeconomic mo-dels is that they focus on a single species at a time. At first this may not seem like much of a problem, but it is actually quite limiting.

For example, one thing that comes out of the elephant model paper is that when people decide what use to make of land they own, wildlife tends to rank low unless it is a profitable species to have around. In the absence of such a value for leaving land in wilderness, most people convert their land to its most profitable use, destroying species' habitat.

A single species model can take that into account, but it cannot account for conflicts between species on land, such as between domesticated livestock and wild predators.

This paper, co-authored with PhD candidate Chris Fleming of the University of Queensland, develops the foundations of multiple species bioeconomic models, with which we can address behavior such as the extermination of wolves and cougars in western US ranch land. The model shows how the relative values of the species that are competing for space is the critical factor in determining the behavior we see from land owners when they kill predators on their property.

The African wild dog is a highly social wild carni-vore, occurring in tight-knit packs of between 2 and 40. African wild dogs are only very distantly related to domestic dogs, and were formerly very widespread across most of Africa.

However, they are now critically en-dangered with as few as 5,000 individ-uals remaining. Today they occur in appreciable numbers in only 6 of the 39 countries in which they once lived.

In South Africa, wild dogs inhabit a fraction of their former range and the Kruger National Park is home to the country's sole viable population. The conservation of wild dogs in South Africa is hindered by the absence of a second large state-protected area of suitable habitat. In 1997, researchers decided that a second population of wild dogs would be created in South Africa through the development of a meta-population (a set of highly-managed small packs that collectively form a viable population).

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