Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  Department of Biology  |  Find People  | 


Extinction Risk and Population Viability

Population viability analysis (PVA) has become a commonly used tool in endangered species management. There is no single process that constitutes PVA, but all approaches have in common an assessment of population risk of extinction or projected population growth either under current conditions or expected from proposed management.

I have been involved in problems of population viability analysis since the mid-1980s, and much of my research focuses on problems related to population viability.

My current field projects on this topic include the effects of habitat loss on grassland birds, and the persistence island species such as the endangered white-breasted thrasher in St. Lucia, and endangered Hawaiian waterbirds.

I have also been working on projects estimating extinction risk and timing, collaborating with Chris Elphick and Dave Roberts.


Extinction Risk and Population Viability

  • (Download PDF) van Rees, C. B., and J. M. Reed. 2018. Predicted effects of landscape change, sea level rise, and management on the extirpation risk of the Hawaiian common gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis) on the island of O'ahu. PeerJ PeerJ 6:e4990; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4990
  • (Download PDF) García-Quismondo, M., I. C. T. Nisbet, C. Mostello, and J. M. Reed. 2018. Modeling population dynamics of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Ecological Modelling 368:298-211.
  • (Download PDF) Rozek, J. C., R. J. Camp, and J. M. Reed. 2017. No evidence of critical slowing down in two endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers. PLoS ONE12(11): e0187518.
  • (Download PDF) Mortensen, J. L., M. N. Morton, P. Haynes, J. Tschirky, M.-L. Felix, and J. M. Reed. 2017. Current status of the endangered white-breasted thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus), a dry-forest songbird endemic to Saint Lucia and Martinique. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 30:39-48.
  • (Download PDF) García-Quismonodo, M., J. M. Reed, F. S. Chew. M. A. Martínez-del-Amor, and M. J. Pérez-Jiménez. 2017. Evolutionary response of a native butterfly to concurrent plant invasions: simulation of population dynamics. Ecological Modelling 260:410-424.
  • (Download PDF) Sass, E. M., J. L. Mortensen, and J. M. Reed. 2017. Habitat suitability models indicate the White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus occupies all suitable habitat in Saint Lucia. Bird Conservation International 27:96-110.
  • (Download PDF) Corbett King, A., and J. M. Reed. 2016. Successful population establishment from small introductions appears to be less common than believed. PeerJ 4:e2440; DOI 10.7717/peerj.2440. 
  • (Download PDF) Mortensen, J. L., and J. M. Reed. 2016. Population viability and vital rate sensitivity of an endangered cooperative breeder. PLOS One 11: e0148928. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148928.
  • (Download PDF) Sass, E. M., J. L. Mortensen, and J. M. Reed. 2016. Predicted habitat suitability of the endangered White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus in Saint Lucia. Bird Conservation International in press.
  • (Download PDF) Lee, T. E., S. A. Black, A. Fellous, N. Yamaguchi, F. M. Angelici, H. Al Hikmani, J. M. Reed, C. S. Elphick, D. L. Roberts. 2015. Assessing uncertainty in sighting records: an example of the Barbary Lion. PeerJ 3:e1224; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1224
  • (Download PDF) Morton, T. A. L., A. Thorn, J. M. Reed, R. Van Driesche, R. A. Casagrande, and F. S. Chew. 2015. Modeling the decline and potential recovery of a native butterfly following serial invasions by exotic species. Biological Invasion 17:1683-1695.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. and C. A. Stockwell. 2014. Evaluating an icon of population persistence: the Devil's Hole pupfish. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 281:20141648.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., and E. D. McCoy. 2014. Relation of minimum viable population size to biology, time frame, and objective. Conservation Biology 28: 867-870.
  • (Download PDF) Bauer, C. M., G. Nachman, S. M. Lewis, L. F. Faust, and J. M. Reed. 2013. Modeling effects of harvest on firefly population persistence. Ecological Modelling 256:43-52.
  • (Download PDF) McCarthy, R. J., S. H. Levine, and J. M. Reed. 2013. Feral cat control: more effective when reproductive hormones remain intact. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243:502-511.
  • (Download PDF) Blomberg, E. J., B. C. Tefft, J. M. Reed, and S. R. McWilliams. 2012. Evaluating spatially explicit viability of a declining ruffed grouse population: implications for landscape-scale management. Journal of Wildlife Management 76:503–513.
  • (Download PDF) Elphick, C. S., D.L. Roberts, and J. M. Reed. 2010. Estimated dates of recent extinctions for North American and Hawaiian birds. Biological Conservation.
  • (Download PDF) Roberts, D.L. C. S. Elphick, and J. M. Reed. 2010. Spurious records, controversial sightings, and extinct species: identifying anomalous reports and why it matters. Conservation Biology.
  • (Download PDF) DesRochers, D.W., S. R. McWillaims, and J. M. Reed. 2010. Evaluating the potential for energy and protein to limit abundance of the endangered Hawaiian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis). Journal of Wildlife Management 74:788-795.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J.M., N. Fefferman, and R. Averill-Murray. 2009. Vital rate sensitivity analysis as a tool for assessing management actions for the desert tortoise. Biological Conservation 142: 2710-2717.
  • (Download PDF) Vogel, R. M., J. R. M. Hosking, C. S. Elphick, D. L. Roberts, J. M. Reed. 2009. Goodness of fit of probability distributions for sightings as species approach extinction. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 71: 701–719.
  • (Download PDF) Scott, J. M., F. L. Ramsey, M. Lammertink, K. Rosenberg, R. Rohrbauch, J. A. Wiens, and J. M. Reed. 2008. When is an "extinct" species really extinct? Gauging the search efforts for Hawaiian forest birds and the ivory-billed woodpecker. Avian Conservation and Ecology 3(2): 3. [online].
  • (Download PDF) Gibbs, J. P., and J. M. Reed. 2007. Population and genetic linkages of vernal-pool associated amphibians. Pages 149-167 in, Seasonal Forest Pools: Conserving Isolated Wetland Functions in Northeastern North America (A. J. K. Calhoun and P. G. deMaynadier, eds.). CRC Press.
  • (Download PDF) Homan, R. N., B. S. Windmiller, and J. M. Reed. 2007. Comparative life histories of two sympatric Ambystoma species at a breeding pond in Massachusetts. Journal of Herpetology 41:401-409.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., H. R. Akcakaya, M. Burgman, D. Bender, S. Beissinger, and J. M. Scott. 2006. Critical habitat. Pages 164-177 in The Endangered species Act at Thirty: Conserving Biodiversity in Human-Dominated Landscapes. J. M. Scott, D. D. Goble, & F. W. Davis (editors). Island Press.
  • (Download PDF) Fefferman, N., and J. M. Reed. 2006. A vital rate sensitivity analysis that is valid for non-stable age distributions and for short-term planning. Journal of Wildlife Management 70:649-656.
  • (Download PDF) Keeler, M. S., F. S. Chew, B. C. Goodale, and J. M. Reed. 2006. Modeling the impacts of two exotic invasive species on a native butterfly: top-down vs. bottom-up effects. Journal of Animal Ecology 75:777-788.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., and S. H. Levine. 2005. A model for behavioral regulation of metapopulation dynamics. Ecological Modelling 183:411-423.
  • (Download PDF) Higdon, J. W., D. A. MacLean, J. M. Hagan, and J.M. Reed. 2005. Evaluating vertebrate species vulnerability on a managed forest landscape. Forest Ecology and Management 204:279-296.
  • (Download PDF) Homan, R., B. S. Windmiller, and J. M. Reed. 2004. Critical thresholds associated with habitat loss for two vernal pool-breeding amphibians. Ecological Applications 14:1547-1553.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M, L. S. Mills, J. B. Dunning, Jr., E. S. Menges, K. S. McKelvey, R. Frye, S. Beissinger, M.-C. Anstett, and P. Miller. 2002. Emerging issues in population viability analysis. Conservation Biology 16:7-19.
  • (Download PDF) Gibbons, L. K., J. M. Reed, and F. S. Chew. 2002. Habitat requirements and local persistence of three damselfly species (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 6:47-55.
  • (Download PDF) Elphick, C. S., J. M. Reed, and J. M. Bonta. 2001. Correlates of population recovery goals in endangered birds. Conservation Biology 15:1285-1291.
  • (Download PDF) Beissinger, S. R., J. M. Reed, J. M. Wunderle, Jr., S. K. Robinson, and D. M. Finch. 2000. Report of the AOU Conservation Committee on the Partners in Flight species prioritization plan. Auk 117: 549-561.
  • Reed, J. M., D. Murphy, and P. F. Brussard. 1998. The efficacy of population viability analysis. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26:244-251.
  • Reed, J. M., C. S. Elphick, and L. W. Oring. 1998. Life-history and viability analysis of the endangered Hawaiian stilt. Biological Conservation 84:34-45.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., and A. R. Blaustein. 1997. Biologically significant population declines and statistical power. Conservation Biology 11:281-282.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1996. Using statistical probability to increase confidence of inferring species extinction. Conservation Biology 10:1283-1285.
  • Reed, J. M., and J. R. Walters. 1996. Helper effects on variance components of fitness in the cooperatively breeding red cockaded woodpecker. Auk 113:608-616.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1995. Relative vulnerability to extirpation of montane breeding birds in the Great Basin. Great Basin Naturalist 55:342-351.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., and A. R. Blaustein. 1995. Assessment of "non-declining" amphibian populations using power analysis. Conservation Biology 9:1299-1300.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1995. Ecosystem management and an avian habitat dilemma. Wildlife Society Bulletin 23:453-457.
  • Blackwell, B. F., J. M. Reed, J. R. Walters, and P. D. Doerr. 1995. Inbreeding rate and effective population size: a comparison of estimates from pedigree analysis and a demographic model. Biological Conservation 71:299-304.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., J. R. Walters, T. H. Emigh, and D. E. Seaman. 1993. Effective Population size in red cockaded woodpeckers: population and model differences. Conservation Biology 7:302-308.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1992. A system for ranking conservation priorities for Neotropical migrant birds based on relative susceptibility to extinction. Pp. 524-536, in Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds (J.M. Hagan, III, and D.W. Johnston, eds.). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
  • Reed, J. M., B. F. Blackwell, and T. H. Emigh. 1991. A simple method for calculating confidence limits around inbreeding rate and effective sizes estimates from pedigrees. Zoo Biology 10:219-224.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1990. The dynamics of Red cockaded Woodpecker rarity and conservation. Pp. 37-56, in Carlson, A. and Aulen, G. (eds). Conservation and Management of Woodpecker Populations. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology, Report 17. Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Reed, J. M., P. D. Doerr, and J. R. Walters. 1988. Minimum viable population size of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Journal of Wildlife Management 52:385 391.
  • Reed, J. M., P. D. Doerr, and J. R. Walters. 1986. Determining minimum population sizes for birds and mammals. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:255 261.