The sustainability of harvesting a warthog population: Assessment of management options using simulation modelling
One of the most difficult and challenging problems in conservation biology is determining the minimum conditions needed for the survival and adaptation of a species or population. The computer modelling programme VORTEX is used to simulate conditions needed for the survival of a reintroduced warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus population in the Andries Vosloo Kudu Reserve, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Numerous scenarios were simulated to determine the possible effect of harvesting, supplementing and environmental catastrophes on the population. The most optimistic scenario for the population with no harvesting or environmental catastrophes still showed the population to be vulnerable (a probability of extinction equal to or greater than 0.1 within 100 years). Although the viability of the population is improved when occasionally supplemented, the results suggest that present management practices are not sustainable in the long term.