Exploring the drivers of wildlife population dynamics from insufficient data by Bayesian model averaging

Yutaka Osada, Takeo Kuriyama, Masahiko Asada, Hiroyuki Yokomizo, Tadashi Miyashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A long-standing interest in ecology and wildlife management is to find drivers of wildlife population dynamics because it is crucial for implementing the effective wildlife management. Recent studies have demonstrated the usefulness of state-space modeling for this purpose, but we often confront the lack of the necessary time-series data. This is particularly common in wildlife management because of limited funds or early stage of data collection. In this study, we proposed a Bayesian model averaging technique in a state-space modeling framework for identifying the drivers of wildlife population dynamics from limited data. To exemplify the utility of Bayesian model averaging for wildlife management, we illustrate here the population dynamics of wild boars Sus scrofa in Chiba prefecture, central Japan. Despite the fact that our data are limited in both temporal and spatial resolution, Bayesian model averaging revealed the potential influence of bamboo forests and abandoned agricultural fields on wild boar population dynamics, and largely enhanced model predictability compared to the full model. Although Bayesian model averaging is not commonly used in ecology and wildlife management, our case study demonstrated that it may help to find influential drivers of wildlife population dynamics and develop a better management plan even from limited time-series data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalPopulation Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 25
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural abandonment
  • Human land use
  • Model predictability
  • State-space model
  • Sus scrofa
  • Wildlife management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the drivers of wildlife population dynamics from insufficient data by Bayesian model averaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this