We study the dynamics of colonization of a territory by a stochastic population at low immigration pressure. We assume a sufficiently strong Allee effect that introduces, in deterministic theory, a large critical population size for colonization. At low immigration rates, the average precolonization population size is small, thus invalidating the WKB approximation to the master equation. We circumvent this difficulty by deriving an exact zero-flux solution of the master equation and matching it with an approximate nonzero-flux solution of the pertinent Fokker-Planck equation in a small region around the critical population size. This procedure provides an accurate evaluation of the quasistationary probability distribution of population sizes in the precolonization state and of the mean time to colonization, for a wide range of immigration rates. At sufficiently high immigration rates our results agree with WKB results obtained previously. At low immigration rates the results can be very different.
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