The idea for this book developed out of my interest into how other scientists had estimated the damage by vertebrate pests and the effects of vertebrate pest control. How did scientists obtain data and how did they analyse it? Was it of any use? In writing this book I have attempted to collate and critically comment on information on a variety of topics in vertebrate pest control. The collation is not exhaustive. Many good studies have not been used simply because of limited space.
I thank many people for assistance with discussions and comments on draft manuscripts. Graeme Caughley and Tony Sinclair of the editorial board of the books in this series assisted with discussions and negotiations. Roger Pech, Peter O'Brien, Glen Saunders, David Choquenot, John Parkes, Graham Nugent, Chris Frampton, Clem Tisdell, Peter Whitehead, Mary Bomford, Mike Braysher, George Wilson, Peter Brown, Chris Cheeseman, Stephen Harris and Astrida Upitis provided useful comments. The ideas and details are, however, mine, so blame me for any errors or omissions. Fellow staff and students at the University of Canberra tolerated my occasional absences to write the book. Staff at the Central Science Laboratory, Worplesdon, Surrey, provided discussions and facilities. I am grateful to them all. I also thank Alan Crowden and Alison Litherland of CUP for editorial assistance.
Finally, I am an ecologist, not a biometrician, economist or mathematician. I have attempted to bring their fields of study a bit closer to my own and that of my fellow ecologists.