Articles | Volume 21, issue 2
Standard article
18 Oct 2021
Standard article |  | 18 Oct 2021

Models of poisoning effects on vulture populations show that small but frequent episodes have a larger effect than large but rare ones

Rigas Tsiakiris, John M. Halley, Kalliopi Stara, Nikos Monokrousos, Chryso Karyou, Nicolaos Kassinis, Minas Papadopoulos, and Stavros M. Xirouchakis

Model code and software

Poison Baits and Vultures J. M. Halley

Short summary
Despite frequent media references about the mass poisoning of vultures, this study shows that small but frequent poisoning events may be even worse. Using both mathematical and computer simulation approaches we show that a chain of small poisoning events is more likely to extirpate a newly established colony than a few massive ones with the same overall mortality. Survival also depends critically on the initial population size. These results are of great relevance for restocking initiatives.