Extinction-effective population index: incorporating life-history variations in population viability analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Viability status of populations is a commonly used measure for decision-making in the management of populations. One of the challenges faced by managers is the need to consistently allocate management effort among populations. This allocation should in part be based on comparison of extinction risks among populations. Unfortunately, common criteria that use minimum viable population size or count-based population viability analysis (PVA) often do not provide results that are comparable among populations, primarily because they lack consistency in determining population size measures and threshold levels of population size (e.g., minimum viable population size and quasi-extinction threshold). Here I introduce a new index called the "extinction-effective population index," which accounts for differential effects of demographic stochasticity among organisms with different life-history strategies and among individuals in different life stages. This index is expected to become a new way of determining minimum viable population size criteria and also complement the count-based PVA. The index accounts for the difference in life-history strategies of organisms, which are modeled using matrix population models. The extinction-effective population index, sensitivity, and elasticity are demonstrated in three species of Pacific salmonids. The interpretation of the index is also provided by comparing them with existing demographic indices. Finally, a measure of life-history-specific effect of demographic stochasticity is derived.

published proceedings

  • Ecology

author list (cited authors)

  • Fujiwara, M.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Fujiwara, Masami

publication date

  • September 2007