Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We consider a range of models that may be used to predict the future persistence of populations, particularly those based on discrete-state Markov processes. While the mathematical theory of such processes is very well-developed, they may be difficult to work with when attempting to estimate parameters or expected times to extinction. Hence, we focus on diffusion and other approximations to these models, presenting new and recent developments in parameter estimation for density dependent processes, and the calculation of extinction times for processes subject to catastrophes. We illustrate these and other methods using data from simulated and real time series. We give particular attention to a procedure, due to Ross et al. [Ross, J.V., Taimre, T., Pollett, P.K. On parameter estimation in population models, Theor. Popul. Biol., in press], for estimating the parameters of the stochastic SIS logistic model, and demonstrate ways in which these parameters may be used to estimate expected extinction times. Although the stochastic SIS logistic model is strictly density dependent and allows only for birth and death events, it nonetheless may be used to predict extinction times with some accuracy even for populations that are only weakly density dependent, or that are subject to catastrophes. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Ecological Modelling

Publication Date





19 - 26