Population dynamics of the narwhal Monodon monoceros: an initial assessement (Odontoceti: Monodontidae)

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Abstract

A simplified population equation for Monodon Pnonoceros shows that current estimates of the values of the life history variables are inconsistent with the hypothesis of a stationary population. Instantaneous adult mortality must be less than 0,10/yr, not the published estimate of 12–13%/yr, for accepted values of the other variables to be consistent with stationarity. For sustainable harvest, permissible exploitation rates are no larger than 3–4%/yr, and instantaneous natural mortality must then be well below 10%/yr. Present uncertainty in the values of survival rates, both of adults and young, contributes twice as much to uncertainty in population growth rate as does uncertainty in reproductive rates.

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