Managing Large Herbivores in Theory and Practice: Is the Game the Same for Browsing and Grazing Species

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Management of large wild herbivores sometimes includes action on the availability of resources and/or on the abundance of predators, but the management of most populations of these animals is limited to the choice of hunting quotas (Williams et al. 2002). The dynamics of the target populations, in interaction with their habitats, is therefore a central process in management. The dynamics of populations is driven by their demographic parameters, i.e., the rates of reproduction and survival. Demographic rates vary according to the sex and age of the individuals, and also show different degrees of temporal and spatial variation among populations (Gaillard et al. 2000; Coulson et al. 2001). In this chapter we first address the question: do browsing and grazing large herbivores have different demographic rates driving the dynamics of their populations?