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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights are reserved. An understanding of the structure, demography and dynamics of animal populations underpins species conservation and management. For a given population, a number of demographic parameters, which may be obtained from short- or long-term studies, are useful in this regard. These parameters explain the broad features of a species' life cycle, and include birth, age at maturity, number of offspring, growth, reproductive investment, and death and length of life (Stearns 1992). Most of these life history traits can be summarized in a life table, an important tool in the study of populations (Sinclair et al. 2006). Demographic traits have important uses in conservation (e.g., in the reintroduction and recovery of species), agriculture (evaluating the effect of biological control or reduction of pest species), and human health (effects of epidemics or malnutrition). They are also useful for managing the sustainable use of species of economic interest.

Original publication





Book title

Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservation of an Exceptional Neotropical Species

Publication Date





147 - 167