Population viability analysis (PVA) refers to the set of ideas, theoretical models, and conceptual and computational tools ecologists use to understand extinction risk and to forecast future scenarios of population growth and decline. PVA methods have developed rapidly over the last two decades and recent advances have focused on incorporating more complex population dynamics; statistical tools for model selection and estimation; combination with geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial data modeling environments; and integration in probabilistic paradigms for risk assessment, strategic planning, and decision analysis. As PVA can be used as a basis for listing species as threatened and endangered under World Conservation Union criteria, PVA methodology can have substantial policy implications.

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