Count or control? Optimal monitoring for invasive species management
by Alana Moore
Abstract: An extensive body of research exists on mathematical models for the optimal control of biological populations. To apply these models to real world situations, population monitoring is required to
parameterise the model and track population size. However, the cost of monitoring is rarely included when assessing management regimes.
We consider finding an optimal management strategy for an invasive fox population using a model that includes the costs of both monitoring and
control. In our model, the monitoring data are binomial observations of an index associated with the population size. We use bayesian updating
to track the population index and embed this in a Markov decision process to investigate the value of monitoring.
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