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Keywords:

  • Distance sampling;
  • Harvest models;
  • Mark-recapture;
  • Wildlife population assessment

Summary. We review the major developments in wildlife population assessment in the past century. Three major areas are considered: mark-recapture, distance sampling, and harvest models. We speculate on how these fields will develop in the next century. Topics for which we expect to see methodological advances include integration of modeling with Geographic Information Systems, automated survey design algorithms, advances in model-based inference from sample survey data, a common inferential framework for wildlife population assessment methods, improved methods for estimating population trends, the embedding of biological process models into inference, substantially improved models for conservation management, advanced spatiotemporal models of ecosystems, and greater emphasis on incorporating model selection uncertainty into inference. We discuss the kind of developments that might be anticipated in these topics.