CONTROL OF A METAPOPULATION HARVESTING MODEL FOR BLACK BEARS

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Abstract

ABSTRACT. We develop a metapopulation harvesting model that includes density-dependent immigration and emigration and apply Pontryagin's maximum principle to derive an optimal harvesting and reserve design strategy. The model is designed to mimic the black bear population of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Model results suggest that a forest region's population can be maintained despite high harvest levels due to emigration from a connected, un-harvested park region. The amount of shared border between the park and forest region is important in determining the optimal harvesting strategy. This technique offers new insight on the spatial control of protected populations.

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