A simulation game for wildlife management planning

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A computer simulation model of the planning process of the wildlife management agency of an eastern sta te was constructed. The model is constructed in the form of a management game for inservice training and classroom use.

The player of the game formulates a five-year operating plan for the mountainous region of the state. The plan is implemented on an annual basis and annual reports are issued to reflect how well scheduled activities. meet public demands. The player is allowed to modify the five-year operating plan after examination of the annual report.

Components of the wildlife management system included in the model are: land acquisition, hunter access, habitat improvement, stocking programs, coordination with forestry practices, public relations, hunting regulations, and budget calculations. Public reaction to the planner's policies is provided on an annual basis in addition to output concerning mandays of hunting, population levels, estimates of legal and illegal harvest, and budget constraints for the following year.

Verification of the model was based on subjective tests of reasonableness performed by those considered knowledgeable about the real system.

Operational instructions are provided for those wishing to use the game and an example five-year run of the game is presented as a guide for use.