A model of survival times for predator populations: the case of the army ants

N F Britton, L W Partridge, N R Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a method to estimate the expected time of survival of a predator population as a function of the size of the habitat island on which it lives and the dynamic parameters of the population and its prey. The model may be thought of either as a patch occupancy model for a structured population or as a model of metapopulation type. The method is applied to a keystone predator species, the neotropical army ant Eciton burchelli. Predictions are made as to how many of the islands and habitat islands in and around Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal, most of which were formed when the canal was dug, can be expected to support such a population today, and these are compared with data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-82
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1999



  • Animals
  • Ants
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Ecosystem
  • Game Theory
  • Geography
  • Models, Biological
  • Population Dynamics
  • Predatory Behavior
  • Tropical Climate

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