Forecasting Models for Harvest of River Otter in Louisiana

Although thousands of river otters (Lontra canadensis) are harvested every year in Louisiana, no formal management plan exists for the species. As a first step toward development of such a plan, we described general trends and associations between number of otters harvested and pelt price and number of licensed trappers during 1957-2004. We also applied time series analysis to develop forecasting models for river otters harvested. Although number of otters harvested was stationary, trends were detected in number of licensed trappers and pelt price. The early 1980s appear as a point of inflection in number of licensed trappers and pelt price, with a declining trend after that time in both. Lagged cross-correlation between number of otters harvested and licensed trappers was significant, as was the case between number of licensed trappers and pelt price. An autoregressive model including number of otters harvested at time t-1 and t-5 was identified as a suitable model to forecast number of otters to be harvested at time t. The simplicity of the model suggests that it could be a valuable forecasting tool for wildlife management agencies in Louisiana.

Starting page
25
Ending page
32
ID
2292