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Lecture 12

Biol 3446B Lecture 12.docx

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Western University
Biology 3446B
Robert Solomon

Lecture 12 – Population Biology Major Mortality Factors: Starvation and Malnutrition Starvation – death or debilitation due to lack of food quantity - More common among carnivores Malnutrition – death or debilitation due to lack of food quality - More common among herbivores Starvation and malnutrition usually affect some sex-age classes more than others – usually very young and very old - Major forms of mortality in Ungulate populations, especially deer In some species, prime age males are very susceptible - i.e. Elk o Spends most of fall guarding harem/mating  stores little fat = increase winter mortality Accidents In natural environments, mortality due to accidents is infrequent Abnormal accidental mortality – particularly due to humans 1. Moose/train collisions during winter 2. ~95,000 white-tailed deer killed by cars 3. 1,000,000 vertebrates/day killed in NA Exposure Wildlife may be killed directly by severe weather Wildlife losses are often due to a combination of exposure and malnutrition – snow makes food unavailable Exposure is usually a density independent mortality source Disease Most wildlife disease can be classified as toxic or infectious Toxic diseases – rarely occurs naturally in wildlife - Exception: Avian Botulism Type C o Hot dry p
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