Many species have been at increasing risk due to human influences. Mathematical models have allowed for understanding population demographics which assists in understanding risk factors for populations. A stage-classified matrix population model was used to estimate current population size of the North Pacific humpback whale. Demographic parameters were estimated from existing literature. According to this model, the population growth rate is lambda = 1.0399, which means the population is increasing. Sensitivity and elasticity analysis showed that population growth rate for the North Pacific humpback whale population is most influenced by mature female survival followed by juvenile survival, which aligns with typical results for long-lived species (Goodman, 1981; Crouse et al., 1987; Trites, 1989). Therefore, factors that cause a small change in these survival rates will have an extensive impact on the population growth rate.
Pence, A. (2018). A Matrix Population Model for Marine Mammals (Undergraduate honors thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from https://inspire.redlands.edu/cas_honors/175