Population modelling

Combined effect of various threat factors on the Saimaa ringed seal population is currently unknown but can be evaluated by population modeling. The purpose of the study is to gather essential information on the life cycle of the seal in order to develop, calibrate, and validate a spatially explicit individual-based population model for the Saimaa ringed seal. The model compiles information on individuals of the population, e.g. breeding, mortality, behavior, and interaction between each other in a defined space. This way various factors and parameters can be quantitatively combined and used to predict other emerging patterns, for example population size or responses to disturbances. The model is spatially explicit, which enables predicting seal movements and therefore evaluating spatially explicit threat factors, such as gillnet fishing.