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Debunking the myth that a legal trade will solve the rhino horn crisis:A system dynamics model for market demand

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... One enduring area of controversy in both the academic and environmental policy spheres is how legalization affects demand for wildlife products. Much of this debate focuses on the legalization of products from two endangered megafauna: elephant ivory and rhino horn (Harvey 2016; 't Sas-Rolfes 2016; Biggs et al., 2013;Crookes and Blignaut 2015). Some scholars are critical of wildlife trade bans and argue that these bans limit the supply of wildlife products, thus increasing prices and poaching (Biggs et al., 2013); this view encourages legalization as an option (Conrad 2012). ...
... This could amplify the number of wildlife consumers and thus increase demand (Kirkpatrick and Emerton 2010). Further, for some species such as rhinos, affecting the price mechanism through legalization is probably insufficient to conserve the species (Crookes and Blignaut 2015). Another issue is that legal trade often provides cover for laundered illegal wildlife products (Tensen 2016), especially in countries characterized by corruption and poor governance (Bennett 2015). ...
... The relationship between legalization and demand depends on a variety of factors, including how demand is modeled and the assumptions of the model (Crookes and Blignaut 2015;Bulte and Damania 2005), the species in question and its rarity (Krishna et al., 2019), the relationship between international actors and local communities (McAllister et al., 2009), and the markets of neighboring countries (Lemieux and Clarke 2009). Disagreements on policies are often due to different responses to risk for an issue dominated by complexity and uncertainty ('t Sas-Rolfes 2016; Aguayo 2014). ...
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Many wildlife species are impacted by unsustainable consumption. Wildlife is consumed for such diverse purposes as food, medicine, ornamentation, entertainment, and social status. However, it is still debated whether legalization and wildlife farming can saturate demand and thus reduce poaching, or if these policies increase demand, and subsequently poaching of vulnerable wildlife. This paper used an experimental vignette survey in Mainland China (N=1002) to explore empirically how legalization, wildlife farming, and possible changes in consumptive acceptability affect demand for wildlife products. Each respondent read a vignette about the consumption of a wildlife product from one of four species (bears, tigers, snakes, or turtles), for one of two uses (medicinal or non-medicinal), in one of three legal situations (product is illegal, product is legal and from farmed animal, or product is legal and from wild animal). All respondents were asked about the acceptability of wildlife consumption, the social stigma around consumption, and the perceived legal consequences of consumption for eight products: bear bile, bear paws, tiger bone, tiger skin, snake bile, snake leather, turtle shells, and turtle meat. Data was analyzed using linear regression models that included interaction effects and controlled for age, gender, education, income, and attitudes towards specific species, towards wildlife consumption, and towards Traditional Chinese Medicine. Wildlife product bans decreased the acceptability and social approval of wildlife consumption and increased estimations of legal punishments. The type of ban that produced these effects depended upon the wildlife product and the measurement of wildlife consumption. The effects of wildlife farming on demand for wildlife products were particularly prominent for mammals. Bear farming increased the acceptability and perceived social approval of bear bile; it also decreased perceived legal sanctions for bear consumption. Tiger farming diminished perceived legal sanctions for tiger consumption and farming tigers for medicinal use increased the acceptability of tiger consumption. Overall, these results indicate that bans on wildlife consumption and decreased wildlife farming of mammals can have conservation benefits.
... Charismatic megafauna species like rhinos and elephants are targeted for their body parts and sold illegally. In the last couple of decades, the demand for rhino horns has been increasing substantially (Crookes and Blignaut 2015), and so has the supply as suggested by the growing poaching incidents (Sas-Rolfes 2012). Economics can be used to shed light on market demand and supply characteristics of rhino horns. ...
... Economic analysis of markets relies on a modelling framework with certain assumptions. Crookes and Blignaut (2015) develop a system dynamics model of market demand to estimate demand elasticities for rhino horns using data on legal trophy hunting. Their study asks whether trade legalisation might improve rhino conservation. ...
... Regressions will test the hypothesised collusive relationship between South Africa and India. Similar to other studies, we account for the effects of demand on poaching (Milner-Gulland 1993;Poudyal et al. 2009;Lopes 2014;Crookes and Blignaut 2015). We also estimate income elasticities and compare them to others' estimates. ...
Article
Rhino poaching in South Africa and India's major range states have been remarkably similar over time. Organised criminal syndicates manage an illegal supply chain of rhino horns from poachers, middlemen and corrupt authorities to East Asian black‐markets. In this paper, we use rhino poaching data from South Africa and India to examine the plausibility of transnational links and coordination in their supplies of rhino horns. We develop an innovative model of oligopolistic collusion in supply and find empirical evidence to support the theory, while controlling for rhino horn demand features, corruption, governance quality, and conservation policy. Furthermore, we propose an inventory management model of a criminal syndicate that controls the horn supply chain. The method retraces and forecasts black‐market prices and has potential applicability in estimating supply or demand elasticities. This paper is the first to suggest an oligopolistic feature of the poaching industry. It highlights the need to reorient conservation policy to account for possible coordination of rhino horn supplies between range states.
... Although it was primarily used to determine optimal offtake, it was nonetheless historic as it was able to predict a recovery of black rhino to a genetically viable population of approximately 2 000 individuals over 30 years, which is more or less the situation prevalent today. Crookes and Blignaut (2015) developed a system dynamics model for market demand that considers rhino populations, game farms and consumer demand. The model did not, however, explicitly model poaching behaviour. ...
... The model predicts that, under current conditions, local extinction of rhino populations will occur over the next 20 years or so. This is in accordance with the findings of both Crookes and Blignaut (2015) and Di Minin et al. (2015). It also further confirms the appropriateness of the model, since it is able to replicate the prevailing knowledge of the system. ...
... Market level interventions are considered elsewhere (see e.g. Crookes and Blignaut 2015). ...
Article
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Rhino poaching around the world has increased inordinately, to the extent that concerns exist over the possible survival of the species. An open access rhino poaching model is developed for South African rhino. The model is a hybrid dynamical model, as both a system dynamics model as well as a Bayesian network model are developed. The system dynamics model is used to estimate the unknown parameter values (through optimisation) and also to determine the intervals for the parameters. These intervals are then used in the Bayesian Belief Network model to assess uncertainty. Hybrid approaches improve the ability to validate models compared with conventional modelling. The resultant model indicates that reducing the price of rhino horn would not be effective at curbing poaching, unless poacher costs are also increased. However, increasing poacher costs is not a realistic policy option since these costs are largely beyond the control of decision-makers. The insensitivity of price to poaching effort has implications for methods proposed to reduce the value of rhinos, such as introducing synthetic rhino horn and the de-horning of rhinos.
... Hubschle stated that the socio-political and historical context and continued marginalization of local people may be drivers of poaching [41]. Confronted with the rhino horn crisis, Crookes and Blignaut illustrated the importance of transformation from a sectoral conservation model to a more sustainable method that comprises a system dynamics model including five factors: rhino demand, rhino abundance, a price model, an income model, and a supply model [42]. In 2017, Crookes made further effort to build up a hybrid dynamical model [43]. ...
... In fact, the debate among experts on whether to legalize rhino trade or not, has never stopped in nearly 20 years. The literature points out that rhino trade is a complicated system influenced by the market demand and faced with uncertainty [42]. If poaching continues to increase without active suppression, it will lead to the South African rhinos' extinction within the following two decades [63]. ...
Article
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The illegal wildlife trade is resulting in worldwide biodiversity loss and species’ extinction. It should be exposed so that the problems of conservation caused by it can be highlighted and resolutions can be found. Social media is an effective method of information dissemination, providing a real-time, low-cost, and convenient platform for the public to release opinions on wildlife protection. This paper aims to explore the usage of social media in understanding public opinions toward conservation events, and illegal rhino trade is an example. This paper provides a framework for analyzing rhino protection issues by using Twitter. A total of 83,479 useful tweets and 33,336 pieces of users’ information were finally restored in our database after filtering out irrelevant tweets. With 2422 records of trade cases, this study builds up a rhino trade network based on social media data. The research shows important findings: (1) Tweeting behaviors are somewhat affected by the information of traditional mass media. (2) In general, countries and regions with strong negative sentiment tend to have high volume of rhino trade cases, but not all. (3) Social celebrities’ participation in activities arouses wide public concern, but the influence does not last for more than a month. NGOs, GOs, media, and individual enterprises are dominant in the dissemination of information about rhino trade. This study contributes in the following ways: First, this paper conducts research on public opinions toward wildlife conservation using natural language processing technique. Second, this paper offers advice to governments and conservationist organizations, helping them utilize social media for protecting wildlife.
... Our findings include results contradicting previous primarily theoretical studies (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Crookes, 2017;Milner-Gulland, 1993;Vigne et al., 2011) and empirical studies based on consumers of a different profile (Hanley et al., 2017;USAID Vietnam, 2018). While rhino horn has long been considered a luxury good with inelastic demand (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Brown and Layton, 2001;Milner-Gulland, 1993), we found that the preference in all income groups is elastic to price changes. ...
... Our findings include results contradicting previous primarily theoretical studies (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Crookes, 2017;Milner-Gulland, 1993;Vigne et al., 2011) and empirical studies based on consumers of a different profile (Hanley et al., 2017;USAID Vietnam, 2018). While rhino horn has long been considered a luxury good with inelastic demand (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Brown and Layton, 2001;Milner-Gulland, 1993), we found that the preference in all income groups is elastic to price changes. Variation in elasticities between different levels of peers and the urgency of using rhino horn was, however, small. ...
Article
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A legal rhino horn trade is suggested in order to reduce poaching. To examine the implications of this proposition, we conducted a choice experiment with 345 rhino horn consumers in Vietnam, investigating their preferences for legality, source, price and peer experience of medicinal efficacy as attributes in their decision to purchase rhino horn. We calculated consumers' willingness to pay for each attribute level. Consumers preferred and were willing to pay more for wild than semi-wild and farmed rhino horn but showed the strongest preference for legal horn, although higher-income consumers were less concerned about legality. The number of peers having used rhino horn without positive effect reduced preference for wild-sourced horn and increased preference for legality. Our results suggest that a legal trade in rhino horn would likely continue to face competition from a parallel black market. Whether poaching would be reduced depends on the legal supply of wild and semi-wild horns, campaigns ability to change consumer preferences, and regulation efforts.
... Furthermore, these results also show that price is only a minor concern to current rhino horn users (USAID Vietnam, 2018;USAID Wildlife Asia, 2018). This is backed up by the notion that demand for rhino horn is inelastic to price changes (Crookes & Blignaut, 2015;Milner-Gulland, 1993). For instance, the demand for rhino horn rose substantially in Yemen despite a 40% increase in price within four years (Vigne et al.,2.4 Laundering of rhino horns 23 2007) and modelling studies have suggested that reducing the price of rhino horn will not curb rhino poaching (Crookes, 2017). ...
... The improbability of price being able to control the demand urged researchers to look into social instead of economic forces. These social forces turned out to be more effective than price in a modelling study about the rhino horn case (Crookes & Blignaut, 2015). First, the consumption motives of rhino horn buyers in Southeast and East Asia should be known to be able to adequately respond to it. ...
... Furthermore, these results also show that price is only a minor concern to current rhino horn users (USAID Vietnam, 2018; USAID Wildlife Asia, 2018). This is backed up by the notion that demand for rhino horn is inelastic to price changes (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Milner-Gulland, 1993). For instance, the demand for rhino horn rose substantially in Yemen despite a 40% increase in price within four years (Vigne et al., 2007) and modelling studies have suggested that reducing the price of rhino horn will not curb rhino poaching (Crookes, 2017). ...
... The improbability of price being able to control the demand urged researchers to look into social instead of economic forces. These social forces turned out to be more effective than price in a modelling study about the rhino horn case (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015). First, the consumption motives of rhino horn buyers in Southeast and East Asia should be known to be able to adequately respond to it. ...
Article
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Wild vertebrate populations all over the globe are in decline, with poaching being the second-most-important cause. The high poaching rate of rhinoceros may drive these species into extinction within the coming decades. Some stakeholders argue to lift the ban on international rhino horn trade to potentially benefit rhino conservation, as current interventions appear to be insufficient. We reviewed scientific and grey literature to scrutinize the validity of reasoning behind the potential benefit of legal horn trade for wild rhino populations. We identified four mechanisms through which legal trade would impact wild rhino populations, of which only the increased revenue for rhino farmers could potentially benefit rhino conservation. Conversely, the global demand for rhino horn is likely to increase to a level that cannot be met solely by legal supply. Moreover, corruption is omnipresent in countries along the trade routes, which has the potential to negatively affect rhino conservation. Finally, programmes aimed at reducing rhino horn demand will be counteracted through trade legalization by removing the stigma on consuming rhino horn. Combining these insights and comparing them with criteria for sustainable wildlife farming, we conclude that legalizing rhino horn trade will likely negatively impact the remaining wild rhino populations. To preserve rhino species, we suggest to prioritize reducing corruption within rhino horn trade, increasing the rhino population within well-protected 'safe havens' and implementing educational programmes and law enforcement targeted at rhino horn consumers.
... Since 1977, international trade in all rhinoceros (hereafter, 'rhino') parts, including horn, has been largely banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). However, with the escalation of poaching events that began in 2008 (Biggs et al., 2013), there is renewed debate about the efficacy of the trade ban (see Biggs et al., 2013;Di Minin et al., 2014;Ferreira et al., 2014;Challender et al., 2015a;Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Haas and Ferreira, 2016). Criticisms of the efficacy of the CITES ban on rhino trade form part of a larger critique of the limitations of CITES, including: "non-compliance, an over reliance on regulation, lack of knowledge and monitoring of listed species, ignorance of market forces, and influence among CITES actors" (Challender et al., 2015a). ...
... Given the paucity of information on the role of legal trade in wildlife conservation, further objective research on supply-side interventions is required (Challender et al., 2015a). To date, the literature on legalizing rhino horn trade has tended to advocate for or against trade without clearly articulating assumptions about how trade would be structured (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Haas and Ferreira, 2016). For example, although studies discuss the potential implementation of central selling organizations (CSOs) to manage trade (Biggs et al., 2013;Ferreira et al., 2014), the agency that should be responsible for running the CSO has not been addressed. ...
Article
There is contentious debate in the literature regarding the conservation efficacy of the international rhinoceros horn trade ban. Because the ban has been in effect for 40 years, it is unclear how potential legal horn trade should be structured to attain rhino conservation on private lands. We sought to fill this gap by eliciting the preferences of South African private wildlife industry members (who conserve a third of South Africa's rhinoceroses) for international trade in rhino horn. We used a combination of best-worst scaling and dichotomous choice experiments to determine wildlife industry members' preferences for three features of legal trade: market structure; payment/kg horn; and whether landowners should be required to conserve a minimum amount of land per rhino before they may enter the market. Results indicate that respondents preferred payments of at least ZAR 150,000/kg (USD $11,500) and that legal trade not be regulated by government organizations. Respondents did not have clear preferences about whether market participants should be required to meet a minimum land requirement per rhino. Our results provide insights into how potential horn trade policy may be structured to meet the financial needs of private landowners, while securing the conservation of rhinos on private lands.
... Ironically, in fact, it can be argued that rhino poaching is exponentially increasing the economic value of the rhino viewing experience. Moreover, the complex commodity value of rhino horn is poorly understood by local and international audiences; few, in fact grasp the fact that horn is an inelastic commodity, with a strong prestige value tied to emerging middle-class markets in southeast Asia and not simply to levels of supply and demand (crookes and Blignaut, 2015;crookes, 2017;Gao et al., 2016). Trading on this misunderstanding, both exclusive wildlife lodges and donor-based conservation NGOs use public anxiety around rhino extinction to increase profits (Barichievy et al., 2017;Büscher, 2016). ...
... For a brief period, the problem of rhino poaching was seen mainly as a problem of historical regional poverty, and the solution was to be found in plans for incorporation of local communities into the job creation programmes of the booming 'biodiversity industry' (DEA, 2015). High on the list of these programmes was a scheme to involve communities in KNP-sponsored rhino farming ventures where horn would be sustainably harvested without harm to the living animal (crookes and Blignaut, 2015). However, faced with scientific evidence that the legalisation of rhino horn trade and the commercial farming of horn (horn regrows after harvesting) would have very little effect on the suppression of poaching, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) backed away from its effort to have rhino delisted by the convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora (crookes and Blignaut, 2015). ...
Article
Conservation in South Africa’s Kruger National Park has evolved from protection of select wildlife species for hunting, to their subsequent protection for the viewing consumption by the wealthy. Gradually, tourism became a mechanism for funding conservation efforts and for the exclusion of indigenous residents from the use of resources. The historical exclusion of gateway communities from wildlife tourism revenues has led to conflict with conservation. In response, practices like benefit-sharing schemes have emerged but evidence suggests that these schemes are failing to engage community stakeholder groups in livelihood strategies that encourage wildlife conservation. The incubation of diffuse networks of local tourism microentrepreneurs selling experiences that leverage indigenous connections with the natural environment is an under-explored strategy that stands to contribute towards equitable endogenous development and the prevention of rhino poaching. This strategy requires a significant shift from the logic of benefit-sharing from conservation towards processes of co-management of natural resources.
... Aside from its horn, the rhino is also valued by game farmers who supply rhino for legal trophy hunting purposes and game sales (Crookes & Blignaut, 2015a). During 2013, the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa (PHASA, 2013) claimed that poaching represents an economic loss of approximately ZAR1.1 billion (US$114 million) had these animals been legally hunted. ...
... Contrary to the non-consumptive value, these are revealed and not stated UVs. Additional to the hunting values, Crookes and Blignaut (2015a) estimate that the income received from game products from the rhino amounted to approximately US$59,000 annually. This is less than the price of one white rhino, and therefore it is evident that the consumptive value is driven by the hunting price. ...
Article
Southern African countries are increasingly dependent on natural beauty and wildlife for tourism. Conservation is essential for sustainable tourism, and is expensive, especially for threatened and endangered species. The current price of a species only takes into account its current usefulness, often leading to an underestimation of the value of wildlife. This paper contributes to debates on the value of endangered species by estimating current use and non-use values for the rhino, a species under extreme threat. Internationally, literature that values scarce and endangered species uses willingness-to-pay (WTP) to derive a value of the species. This paper uses WTP to determine the non-consumptive use value of the rhino based on three surveys, n = 1291, conducted in South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) and compare it to consumptive use values. Non-use and inter-temporal values are also estimated to provide a comprehensive valuation of the rhino. Non-consumptive use values per rhino in KNP are shown to exceed consumptive use values by a minimum of 50%. The threat of extinction is shown to be linked to institutional, market and policy failures. Policy implications include raising poaching fines, raising wildlife value awareness and incentivising the community benefits of wildlife conservation.
... Systems sub-category contains social-ecological systems, socio-technical system, ecosystem, and agricultural systems. SD functions are assessing resilience, realising dynamics, and capturing interactions between components (Bueno, 2014;Bueno & Basurto, 2009;Crookes & Blignaut, 2015;Godde et al., 2019;Portela & Rademacher, 2001;Said et al., 2019;Tenza et al., 2017). As for accidents subcategory, half of the publications are discussing realworld accidents: Westray Mine disaster, "7.23" Yong-Tai-Wen railway accident, and Chernobyl power plant. ...
Article
Crises are dynamic in nature and usually associated with complexity, uncertainty, pressure, and loss of boundaries. System dynamics is an approach for understanding nonlinear behaviour of complex systems over time. Its inherent capabilities make it effective in dealing with crises' attributes. Accordingly, deploying this technique in managing crises will strengthen the process and ensure its successfulness. This premise had been acknowledged by many scholars and reflected in their researches. In the last two decades there were many system dynamics applications in crisis management practice. These applications were subjected to an analysis process to recognise its characteristics. The analysis process identified their evolution trend, scholars' origins, utilised tools, crises' types, unit of analysis, and applications' categories. These categories include analysis, decision support system, crises preparation, forecasting, enhancing performance, setting plans, and policies' consequences. This classification frame should add extra knowledge to academics and present best practices for managing crises to practitioners.
... Forrester (1961) developed system dynamics models to simplify understanding of how a system behaves via utilizing dynamic simulation models (Beall & Zeoli, 2008;Mahamoud et al., 2013). Although the use of system dynamics simulation models in collaborative environmental problem solving is recently developed, it has been applied to several environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, and biodiversity conservation (Beall & Zeoli, 2008;Crookes & Blignaut, 2015;Hongli, 2013;Patana et al., 2018;Vafa-Arani et al., 2014). Yet, application of system dynamics models to wildlife management has been rare. ...
Article
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Given the complex and dynamic interrelationships of the underlying factors contributing to conflicts associated with wolf presence and persistence in human‐dominated landscapes, it is often difficult to clearly identify the ultimate causes of these conflicts. In this study, a system dynamics modeling approach was adopted to simulate human–wolf conflicts in an area with the greatest number of recently fatal wolf attacks on humans in Iran. Data used to build the model were obtained from questionnaire surveys and satellite tracking of wolves. We simulated changes in ecological and social factors that may influence conflicts under different assumptions. Our findings indicate that, in this context, the proximity of wolves to human settlements is one of the determining factors leading to increased wolf attacks on humans and livestock. When the distance between wolf territories and human settlements increases, the likelihood of both wolf incidents and retaliatory killings are expected to decrease. Effective communication of information regarding wolves across local communities is expected to result in a positive shift in attitudes toward the species, as well as a decrease in fear, which in turn will affect the rate of conflicts. Improper disposal of carcasses of domestic animals by the locals, dumping of waste in open dumpsites close to villages, and leaving children unattended on agricultural fields are expected to increase the recurrence of conflicts. We strongly urge Hamadan provincial office of environment and nongovernmental organizations to initiate communication programs to raise awareness on the human–wolf conflict and its mitigation. This includes how to properly handle livestock carcasses at safe distances from human settlements. Furthermore, design and construction of sanitary landfills in the vicinity of each village, as well as providing education on how to properly use these sites could help reduce risky conflicts.
... Due to policy provisions, wildlife can be owned privately in South Africa (see Snijders 2015). Though numbers are difficult to ascertain, it is estimated that 49% of white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) are privately owned (Emslie et al., 2019) and traded through live sales, trophy hunting, ecotourism, and game products (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015). Thus, when poaching numbers started skyrocketing in South Africa in 2008, private rhino owners were also affected. ...
Article
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The conservation of biodiversity has increasingly been analyzed as biopolitical. That is, conservation initiatives such as breeding programs and protected areas seek to optimize some nonhuman life forms while exposing others to harm or degradation. Biopolitical conservation studies have looked at the implications of how human and non-human lives have been valued differently. Wildlife has received more attention than the lives of conservation laborers in studies of private conservation. The article builds on Foucault's conceptualization of biopolitics to dissect the responses of the eco-tourism and wildlife breeding industries to rhino poaching in the Lowveld, South Africa. There are two central arguments. First, their responses hinge on creating new, and re-instating old, avenues of capital accumulation that ironically prioritize the optimization of the wildlife economy over the lives of rhino. Second, I show that private conservation disproportionately exposes black laborers to harm while attempting to protect rhino from poachers, a function of how conservation labor has been governed since the onset of poaching in 2008. I conclude that private conservationists in South Africa make value judgments to construct a hierarchy of life with whiteness at its apex, rhinos following closely behind, with laborers, and finally poachers at the bottom.
... Our paper advances several other strands of literature as well. Previous studies have investigated the environmental impacts of bans, e.g. on shark fin (Ferretti et al 2020), ivory (Sosnowski et al 2019), and rhino horn (Crookes and Blignaut 2015). But due to the illicit nature of these markets, reliable data on production, trade, and consumption is scarce, which hampers the calibration of sophisticated policy models, as we undertake here using readily available data on the international palm oil market. ...
Article
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Demand-side restrictions on high-deforestation commodities are expanding as a climate policy, but their impact on reducing tropical deforestation and emissions has yet to be quantified. Here we model the effects of demand-side restrictions on high-deforestation palm oil in Europe on deforestation and emissions in Indonesia. We do so by integrating a model of global trade with a spatially explicit model of land-use change in Indonesia. We estimate a European ban on high-deforestation palm oil from 2000–2015 would have led to a 8.9% global price premium on low-deforestation palm oil, resulting in 21,374 ha/yr (1.60%) less deforestation and 21.1 million tCO2/yr (1.91%) less emissions from deforestation in Indonesia relative to what occurred. A hypothetical Indonesia-wide carbon price would have achieved equivalent emission reductions at $0.81/tCO2. Impacts of a ban are small because: 52% of Europe’s imports of high-deforestation palm oil would have shifted to non-participating countries; the price elasticity of supply of high-deforestation oil palm cropland is small (0.13); and conversion to oil palm was responsible for only 32% of deforestation in Indonesia. If demand-side restrictions succeed in substantially reducing deforestation, it is likely to be through non-price pathways.
... Due to policy provisions, wildlife can be owned privately in South Africa (see Snijders 2015). Though numbers are difficult to ascertain, it is estimated that 49% of white rhinos are privately owned (Emsile et al., 2019) and traded on live sales, trophy hunting, ecotourism and game products (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015). Thus, when poaching numbers sky-rocketed in South Africa in 2008, private rhino owners were also affected. ...
... Previous work has looked at motivations for the use and consumption of wildlife products (Thomas-Walters et al., 2020), provided frameworks for analysing illegal wildlife trade (Phelps et al., 2016) and theorized on how wildlife supply and demand might change under different scenarios (Bulte and Van Kooten, 1999;Chen and 't Sas-Rolfes, 2021;Crookes, 2017;Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Damania et al., 2005). To progress beyond sectoral analyses as the above, we here propose a framework for assessing and intervening in markets driving unsustainable wildlife use which integrates the actor, inter-actor and market levels. ...
Article
Understanding how markets drive unsustainable wildlife use is key for biodiversity conservation. Yet most approaches to date look at isolated components of wildlife markets, hindering our ability to intervene effectively to improve sustainability. To better assess and intervene in wildlife markets, we propose a framework that integrates three analytical levels. The first level, “actor”, assesses the underlying motivations and mechanisms that allow or constrain how actors benefit from wildlife markets. The second level, “inter-actor”, assesses the configuration of wildlife product supply-chains and the type of competition between actors participating in wildlife markets. The third level, “market”, evaluates supply-demand dynamics, quantity and price determinants, and the presence and effect of illegal products flowing into markets. We showcase the utility of the framework in a data-limited small-scale fishery case study (common hake, Merluccius gayi gayi in Chile); our mixed-method analysis provided relevant, tailored management recommendations for improving sustainability. Tackling markets driving unsustainable wildlife use needs integrated approaches that bring together the diversity of factors affecting wildlife market dynamics.
... Previous work has looked at motivations for the use and consumption of wildlife products (Thomas-Walters et al., 2020), provided frameworks for analysing illegal wildlife trade (Phelps et al., 2016) and theorized on how wildlife supply and demand might change under different scenarios (Bulte and Van Kooten, 1999;Chen and 't Sas-Rolfes, 2021;Crookes, 2017;Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Damania et al., 2005). To progress beyond sectoral analyses as the above, we here propose a framework for assessing and intervening in markets driving unsustainable wildlife use which integrates the actor, inter-actor and market levels. ...
Preprint
Understanding how markets drive unsustainable wildlife use is key for biodiversity conservation. Yet most approaches to date look at isolated components of wildlife markets, hindering our ability to intervene effectively to improve sustainability. To better assess and intervene in wildlife markets, we propose a framework that integrates three analytical levels. The first level, “actor”, assesses the underlying motivations and mechanisms that allow or constrain how actors benefit from wildlife markets. The second level, “inter-actor”, assesses the configuration of wildlife product supply-chains and the type of competition between actors participating in wildlife markets. The third level, “market”, evaluates overarching dynamics, quantity and price determinants, and the presence and effect of illegal products flowing into markets. We showcase the utility of the framework in a data-limited small-scale fishery case study (common hake, Merluccius gayi gayi in Chile); our mixed-method analysis provided relevant, tailored management recommendations for improving sustainability. Tackling markets driving unsustainable wildlife use needs integrated approaches that bring together the diversity of factors affecting wildlife market dynamics.
... It is one of the most controversial theories in conservation biology (Biggs et al. 2017;Sekar et al. 2018;Eikelboom et al. 2020), eliciting strong supporting (Cooney and Jepson 2006) and opposing arguments (Litchfield 2013;Lusseau and Lee 2016;Sekar et al. 2018). While mathematical models have been used to demonstrate why flooding the market with legal products may benefit (Gentry et al. 2019) or harm (Crookes and Blignaut 2015) different types of poached species, the potential use of legal trade revenue to fund conservation has largely been ignored by mathematical biologists, despite the unique nonlinear feedbacks this policy would create. ...
Article
Full-text available
Can a regulated, legal market for wildlife products protect species threatened by poaching? It is one of the most controversial ideas in biodiversity conservation. Perhaps the most convincing reason for legalizing wildlife trade is that trade revenue could fund the protection and conservation of poached species. In this paper we examine the possible poacher-population dynamic consequences of legal trade funding conservation. The model consists of a manager scavenging carcases for wildlife product, who then sells the products, and directs a portion of the revenue towards funding anti-poaching law enforcement. Through a global analysis of the model, we derive the critical proportion of product the manager must scavenge, and the critical proportion of trade revenue the manger must allocate towards increased enforcement, in order for legal trade to lead to abundant long-term wildlife populations. We illustrate how the model could inform management with parameter values derived from the African elephant literature, under a hypothetical scenario where a manager scavenges elephant carcases to sell ivory. We find that there is a large region of parameter space where populations go extinct under legal trade, unless a significant portion of trade revenue is directed towards protecting populations from poaching. The model is general and therefore can be used as a starting point for exploring the consequences of funding many conservation programs using wildlife trade revenue.
... It is one of the most controversial theories in conservation biology (Biggs et al. 2017;Sekar et al. 2018;Eikelboom et al. 2020), eliciting strong supporting (Cooney and Jepson 2006) and opposing arguments (Litchfield 2013;Lusseau and Lee 2016;Sekar et al. 2018). While mathematical models have been used to demonstrate why flooding the market with legal products may benefit (Gentry et al. 2019) or harm (Crookes and Blignaut 2015) different types of poached species, the potential use of legal trade revenue to fund conservation has largely been ignored by mathematical biologists, despite the unique nonlinear feedbacks this policy would create. ...
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Can a regulated, legal market for wildlife products protect species threatened by poaching? It is one of the most controversial ideas in biodiversity conservation. Perhaps the most convincing reason for legalizing wildlife trade is that trade revenue could fund the protection and conservation of poached species. In this paper, we examine the possible poacher-population dynamic consequences of legal trade funding conservation. The model consists of a manager scavenging carcasses for wildlife products, who then sells the products, and directs a portion of the revenue towards funding anti-poaching law enforcement. Through a global analysis of the model, we derive the critical proportion of product the manager must scavenge, and the critical proportion of trade revenue the manager must allocate towards increased enforcement, in order for legal trade to lead to abundant long-term wildlife populations. We illustrate how the model could inform management with parameter values derived from the African elephant literature, under a hypothetical scenario where a manager scavenges elephant carcasses to sell ivory. We find that there is a large region of parameter space where populations go extinct under legal trade, unless a significant portion of trade revenue is directed towards protecting populations from poaching. The model is general and therefore can be used as a starting point for exploring the consequences of funding many conservation programs using wildlife trade revenue.
... Seafood, which once was abundant, is now much scarcer (Pauly, Watson, & Alder, 2005). A major cause of the decline of many species is overexploitation, resulting in the possibility of the risk of extinction in some cases (see Purvis, Gittleman, Cowlishaw, & Mace, 2000;Milner-Gulland & Bennett, 2003;Dulvy et al., 2004;Robinson & Bennett, 2004;Cowlishaw, Mendelson, & Rowcliffe, 2005;Wilkie et al., 2005;Blignaut & Aronson, 2008;Blignaut, De Wit, & Barnes, 2008;Fa & Brown, 2009;Hoffmann et al., 2010;Allebone-Webb et al., 2011;Abernethy, Coad, Taylor, Lee, & Maisels, 2013;Crookes & Blignaut, 2015;Saayman & Saayman, 2017). A recent review of 37 economic values across agricultural, water, natural vegetation and wildlife sectors indicates that the greatest threat to national security arises through declines in wildlife species . ...
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We propose a method for assessing the persistence of species where the resource is harvested. Four sustainability measures are employed, namely a population measure, a harvest measure, a profitability measure and a catchability measure. These are used to assess the sustainability of two natural resources representing terrestrial and aquatic species, namely White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) and South African abalone (Haliotis Midae) species, respectively. The framework is used to evaluate these two resources against relevant local and international protected species listings. The results show that the proposed framework produces a more conservative approach to listing threatened species, consistent with the precautionary principle. The framework provides a way of conducting a precautionary assessment of extinction risk under conditions of exploitation, across a range of aquatic and terrestrial species. Once developed, we also apply this framework to seven additional species using a scenario analysis. The results highlight the importance of taking into consideration institutional factors under conditions of overexploitation.
... For species and areaspecific policies, managers can use more complex models agreed upon by stakeholders (Biggs et al., 2017). Additional complexities worth exploring include market dynamics (Fischer, 2004), consumers hoarding wildlife products as speculative investments (Mason, Bulte, & Horan, 2012), spatial heterogeneity (Bulte, Damania, Lindsey, & Lindsay, 2004), time-varying consumer incomes (Crookes & Blignaut, 2015), uncertainty and stochastic dynamics (Weitzman, 2002), and noneconomic values of poachers and consumers. ...
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Donors, NGOs, and governments increasingly invest in campaigns to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products in an attempt to prevent the decline of overexploited and poached species. We provide a novel framework to aid these investment decisions based on a demand reduction campaign's return on investment compared to antipoaching law enforcement. A resulting decision rule shows that the relative effectiveness of demand reduction compared to increased enforcement depends entirely on social and economic uncertainties rather than ecological ones. Illustrative case studies on bushmeat and ivory reveal that campaigning to reduce demand may be more cost‐effective than antipoaching enforcement if demand reduction campaigns drive modest price reductions. The outputs from this framework can link targeted monitoring of wildlife product prices to management decisions that protect species threatened by harvest and trade.
... The current illegal trade in rhino horn is undoubtedly a complex system. Crookes & Blignaut (2015) claim to have designed such a model but their resulting design is what Ruitenbeek & Cartier (2001, Chapter 2) would describe as a "complicated system" -one with many elements that once understood still behave in a predictable manner. ...
... These studies indicate that actual predatory behaviour is not a requirement for model development, nor is it important which parameter is specified as predator and which is prey. The model is largely associated with neoclassical economics theory [19], which is rare for system dynamics modelling applications [20,21]. In our model, the predator is the number of dams built and the prey is the existing dam storage levels. ...
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The City of Cape Town (the City) is experiencing a water crisis. However, although a major desalination plant has been on the table for a number of years, this continues to be regarded as a 'long term option' due to the apparent high costs associated with this technology. We therefore develop a predator-prey system dynamics model to assess the feasibility of a major desalination plant compared with the baseline scenarios of business as usual: (clearing of invasive alien plants in the Berg and Breede water management areas and renovating and constructing dams). Cost include both capital costs, as well as operational costs. We find that increasing block tariffs (IBTs) do not always benefit the poor, since these are not always the lowest water users in volumetric terms. A major outcome is that, in contrast to expectations, a desalination plant may actually reduce tariffs across the full spectrum of water users. A desalination plant also has the potential to increase access to water by the poorest communities. The finding has implications for other developing countries considering a major water infrastructure investment where there are large disparities in income between wealthy and indigent consumers.
... This would be supported by increased poaching efforts to avoid future competition with poachers who may not supply to their cartel. The intensive poaching of South Africa's rhinoceros populations suggests that this strategy is already in operation by some syndicates (Crookes and Blignaut, 2015). ...
Article
Africa is losing approximately 27,000 elephants a year to a poaching epidemic driven predominantly by demand for ivory in East Asia. In response, the U.S. and China agreed to implement domestic ivory trade bans to complement the international trade ban. The U.S. executed this agreement on 6 July 2016. Chinese authorities announced, on 30 December 2016, that they would end the domestic ivory trade by 31 December 2017. This paper accepts that a large volume of ivory entering China illegally is being stockpiled for speculative purposes. It sketches several scenarios of how ivory speculators, as important interlocutors between supply and final demand, might respond to this domestic ban. We conclude that the optimal elephant conservation policy approach would be for Chinese authorities to provide more specific details about the scope of the ban and how it will deal with stockpiled ivory. Our game theoretic analysis suggests that the ban should be imposed indefinitely; this should be explicitly stipulated to avoid uncertainty and continued speculation. The introduction of any possibility of a future regulated trade will create strong incentives for speculators to bank on elephant extinction, and maximise poaching effort in the short run.
... Despite recent programs and policies for ameliorating the threat of illicit trade on rhinoceroses, there is still a major concern for rhino poaching, suggesting that present conservation efforts are not adequate. Attempts to model market dynamics (e.g., Crookes and Blignaut, 2015;Di Minin et al., 2015), debate over legalizing versus banning the rhino horn trade (e.g., Biggs et al., 2013;Collins et al., 2013), and the effectiveness of public education campaigns are all undermined by a lack of information about the demand and end-use market. ...
... In the case of rhinos and abalone, a legalised trade must be accompanied by secondary policies, for the sustainability of the resource to be achieved. For rhinos, this secondary policy is consumer behaviour modification that reduces demand, 24 whereas for abalone, it is improving the probability of detection prior to an offence. Under costly enforcement, the market does not provide the incentives to adopt these secondary policies, because profits are higher without them. ...
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South African rhinoceros (e.g. Diceros bicornis) and abalone (Haliotis midae) have in common that they both are harvested under open-access conditions, are high-value commodities and are traded illegally. The difference is that a legal market for abalone already exists. An open-access deterrence model was developed for South African abalone, using Table Mountain National Park as a case study. It was found that illegal poaching spiked following the closure of the recreational fishery. The resource custodian’s objective is to maximise returns from confiscations. This study showed that a legal trade results in a ‘trading on extinction’ resource trap, with a race for profits, an increase in the probability of detection after a poaching event and the depletion of populations. In contrast with HS Gordon’s seminal article (J Polit Econ 1954;62:124–142), profit maximisation does not automatically improve the sustainability of the resource. Under certain conditions (e.g. a legal trade with costly enforcement), profit maximisation may actually deplete abalone populations. The article also has implications for rhino populations, as a legal trade is currently proposed.
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This book demonstrates how mathematical models constructed in system dynamics modelling platforms, such as Vensim, can be used for long-term management of environmental change. It is divided into two sections, with the first dedicated to theory, where the theory of co-evolutionary modelling and its use in the system dynamics model platform is developed. The book takes readers through the steps in the modelling process, different validation tools applicable to these types of models and different growth specifications, as well as how to curve fit using numerical methods in Vensim. Section 2 comprises a collection of applied case studies, including fisheries, game theory and wildlife management. The book concludes with lessons from the use of co-evolutionary models for long-term natural resource management. The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental economics, natural resource management, system dynamics, ecological modelling and bioeconomics.
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The legalization of rhino horn ‘domestic’ trade in South Africa potentially unleashes market forces featuring new entry, new tastes and new rhino horn products. This risks escalating the rhino-poaching crisis further. It is argued that institutional contradictions have been engendered by the South African High Court ruling in Kruger and another v Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and others [2015] JOL 34725, whose assumptions are shown to be highly restrictive and seemingly poorly informed about the true nature of demand for rhino horn and the dynamics of poaching. The shortcoming in the legal decision-making pertains to not taking account of the absence of any evidence for the existence of domestic demand for rhino horns in South Africa. The key arguments presented herein align with support for the reinstitution of the rhino horn trade moratorium, as well as administrative measures implemented effectively to contain the poaching crisis.
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Thousands of species worldwide are threatened with extinction due to human activities. For some animals, such as elephants, totoaba, and bluefin tuna, population declines are largely driven by hunting. High prices and large profits create a strong incentive for illegal hunting, even in the face of penalties and strict international restrictions against trade. One innovative solution to help reverse the declines of such species is to farm them to increase supply, thereby reducing prices and decreasing hunting incentives. However, this idea has been criticized as impractical, though some examples exist of successful implementation. Here, we evaluate the hurdles facing endangered species farming as a market‐based mechanism to reduce illegal harvest of wild populations and provide guidance on when it is most likely to be effective. Using a simple model, we show how farming costs and enforcement of anti‐poaching measures are key drivers of success for this solution. We also argue that many of the most promising candidates are aquatic species that have been largely overlooked. Thus, while conservation farming may not be a solution for all endangered species, it should be more seriously considered for species that could be produced quickly and cost‐effectively.
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Does restoration pay? We seek to answer this question by reviewing the benefits and costs of 37 economic values derived from five groups of actual restoration-related case studies in South Africa at various scales. The mean opportunity costs of not restoring are the following (a negative value implies an economic loss to society): i) local level single species studies concerned with clearing invasive alien plants (mean ¼-$27.24/ha/yr, sd ¼ þ/-22.93; n ¼ 5); ii) local level multiple species studies concerned with clearing invasive alien plants (mean ¼-$289/ha/yr, sd ¼ þ/-550.6; n ¼ 14); iii) national level studies concerned with clearing invasive alien plants (mean ¼-$40.2/ ha/yr, sd ¼ þ/-17.2; n ¼ 3); iv) non-clearing related restoration (mean ¼-$52/ha/yr, sd ¼ þ/-154.2; n ¼ 10); and v) agricultural land rehabilitation (mean ¼-$428.1/ha/yr, sd ¼ þ/-352.7; n ¼ 5). When these annual values are capitalised (i.e. discounted into perpetuity) to reflect the temporal impact of the foregone benefits of restoration , the losses amount to between 16 and 50 times greater than the annual values. Capitalisation of these values is an important step towards an asset-based approach in the management, restoration and conservation of natural capital. It is a step towards viewing the investment in restoration not merely as an expenditure item to be minimised, but as a truly worthwhile investment in the future wellbeing of both people and the planet-an investment in the national security of the country. More work, however, is required to transfer this value onto the balance sheets of companies in order to entice the private sector to invest more as well as to convert the implicit societal benefits of restoration to explicit company-wide value enhancement opportunities.
Chapter
An area in which global regulatory regimes play an increasingly prominent role is the effort to protect environment. The unsustainable wildlife trade (WT) belongs among the major threats to these efforts. In this chapter, the development and current state of the WT regulatory regime, and especially CITES as its fundamental provision, are analysed. In the first part, the structure and functional mechanisms of the WT regulatory regime are described and its basic weaknesses identified. In the second part, the current dynamics of the WT regulatory regime and its triangular interactions with national restrictive regimes and international wildlife markets are discussed through the means of a case study on the trade in rhino horns. The rhino case demonstrates that, as a system of wildlife trade control, CITES fails to accurately monitor supply, particularly where trade is illegal, it fails to consider the impact of trade controls in realistic terms, and it does little to consider the complex nature of demand or contend with changing market dynamics. To more effectively manage the WT, the reforms are needed within CITES and in the sphere of interaction between CITES and local WT regulatory regimes.
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This review article assesses the relevance of international wildlife treaties for the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s five species of rhinoceros – white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), black rhino (Diceros bicornis), Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). The analysis covers global treaties like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the World Heritage Convention and the Ramsar Wetlands Convention, alongside various regional African treaties. Employing standard legal research methodology combined with relevant knowledge from the natural and social sciences, the focus of the review is both on past performance and future potential of the treaties involved. The outcomes of the analysis suggest that, despite pervasive compliance deficiencies which continue to curtail the effectiveness of the various treaties, the prospects of various rhinoceros populations may well have been (even) worse without some of these treaties. The comparative importance of the World Heritage Convention for the conservation of the three Asian rhino species is an example. The main threat to rhinoceroses – poaching driven by a demand for rhino horn in various Asian countries – is international in nature, and a substantial part of the analysis centers on the international community’s efforts to address this threat over the past four decades within the framework of CITES. A key recommendation flowing from this analysis is for CITES parties to seriously but critically explore alternatives to the current trade ban regime, including the option of a strictly controlled legal trade in rhino horn sourced from viable, sustainably managed populations.
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Circumcision originated from ancient religious (biblical) and cultural societies. Study has shown that in both the biblical (Israelite) context and among the Karanga people in Zimbabwe circumcision emerged as a rite of passage for a boy child’s entry into manhood. Modern societies promulgate circumcision as a preventive method against HIV and AIDS. The present study argues that circumcision tends to promote irresponsible sexual behaviour and trivialises the sacredness of sex. (1) To safeguard societies against the belief that circumcision prevents HIV and AIDS. (2) To sensitise societies that abstinence and condom usage will serve as preventive methods against HIV and AIDS. The study utilises two complimentary methods: (1) comparative literary method which examines both biblical and cultural initiation procedures and (2) qualitative research method in which an interview forms part of the data pool. The potential of a scientific contribution towards transforming both the mind and lifestyle can be guaranteed. The number of individuals opting to be circumcised will decline, and abstinence and condom usage should be promoted towards the prevention of HIV and AIDS. In both ancient Israel and among the Karanga people of Zimbabwe, circumcision was performed as a religious and cultural procedure. In both contexts circumcision was regarded as a rite of passage to prepare a boy child for entry into manhood. The article argued that circumcision does not prevent HIV and AIDS. To the contrary, circumcision tends to endorse promiscuity and unprotected sex, with a potential of increasing HIV and AIDS prevalence.
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Twenty years ago it was argued that rotational wheat production systems will reduce the economic risks to farmers and restore soil quality. Here we reflect on this assertion by analysing the evidence of a 12-year data window within a trial on a mixture of crop rotation systems at Langgewens Research Farm, South Africa. It was been found that production systems that include rotations with medics and/or medic-clover show some potential for improvement compared with wheat only, with a combination of the annual legume pasture with an added saltbush pasture showing the greatest improvement when taking into consideration the benefits from livestock production that are derived from pastures. Pastures are more resilient to changes in rainfall compared with wheat only. Planting pastures in alternate years also improves the yields from wheat, and this is beneficial in periods of low rainfall. Rotation systems on this farm that include lupin perform worse than the wheat-only model. Furthermore, when modelling the effect of drought on the system, the results of the multi-and rotation production systems actually improve.
Article
The illegal trade in rhinoceros horn, driven largely by the demand from East and South-east Asia, is a major impediment to the conservation of rhinoceroses globally. We surveyed the town of Mong La, in eastern Myanmar on the border with China, for the presence of rhinoceros horn. No rhinoceros horn was observed in  or , and other African wildlife was rare or absent. During visits in  and  we observed two horns, presumed to be of the white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum, and one horn tip, small discs from the horn core, horn powder and horn bangles. Shops selling rhinoceros horn all specialized in high-end and high-value wildlife, mostly for decorative purposes, including whole elephant tusks, carved elephant ivory, carved hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius canines, and tiger Panthera tigris skins. Organized criminal syndicates are involved in the wildlife trade between Myanmar and Africa, possibly via China. Mong La’s geographical position on the border with China, limited control by the central Myanmar Government, and the presence of the Chinese entertainment industry provide ideal conditions for a global wildlife trade hub catering for the Chinese market. Solutions require more intense collaboration between the Myanmar and Chinese authorities to curb the trade in African rhinoceros horn in this part of Asia.
Article
The proposed legalization of international trade in rhinoceros horn is a hotly debated topic. South Africa is home to a large proportion of Africa's black Diceros bicornis and white rhinoceroses Ceratotherium simum populations. Private owners are custodians of c. 25% of the country's rhinoceroses, and the introduction of legal trade in horn harvested from live rhinoceroses may therefore have significant implications for the private conservation industry. This study explores perceptions of legal trade in rhinoceros horn, and its potential implications for reserve management, among rhinoceros owners and conservation practitioners from private game reserves in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants from 17 private game reserves (c. 37% of the total number of reserves with rhinoceroses). Whereas rhinoceros owners were mostly in favour of trade, opinion among non-owners was more nuanced. Owners expressed more interest in trading in live rhinoceroses, and stockpiled horn from natural mortalities, than in sustainably harvesting rhinoceros horn for trade. Informants therefore predicted that they would not change their practices significantly if the trade were legalized. However, most informants had little confidence that CITES would lift the trade ban. The perspectives of private reserve owners and managers should be taken into account in South African and international policy discussions relating to the legal trade in rhinoceros horn.
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The onslaught on the World’s wildlife continues despite numerous initiatives aimed at curbing it. We build a model that integrates rhino horn trade with rhino population dynamics in order to evaluate the impact of various management policies on rhino sustainability. In our model, an agent-based sub-model of horn trade from the poaching event up through a purchase of rhino horn in Asia impacts rhino abundance. A data-validated, individual-based sub-model of the rhino population of South Africa provides these abundance values. We evaluate policies that consist of different combinations of legal trade initiatives, demand reduction marketing campaigns, increased anti-poaching measures within protected areas, and transnational policing initiatives aimed at disrupting those criminal syndicates engaged in horn trafficking. Simulation runs of our model over the next 35 years produces a sustainable rhino population under only one management policy. This policy includes both a transnational policing effort aimed at dismantling those criminal networks engaged in rhino horn trafficking—coupled with increases in legal economic opportunities for people living next to protected areas where rhinos live. This multi-faceted approach should be the focus of the international debate on strategies to combat the current slaughter of rhino rather than the binary debate about whether rhino horn trade should be legalized. This approach to the evaluation of wildlife management policies may be useful to apply to other species threatened by wildlife trafficking.
Article
Rhino populations are at a critical level and new approaches are needed to ensure their survival. This study conducts a review and categorisation of policies for the management of rhinos. Twenty-seven policies are identified and classified into in-situ (reserve-based) and ex-situ (market-based) policies. The policies are then evaluated based on four target areas: poachers/hunters, consumers, intermediaries and the game reserves themselves. The study finds that protected area management policies seem most beneficial in the short run, in particular the enforcement of private property rights over resource utilisation, as well as the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries that act as sustainable breeding grounds for rhino populations.
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Between 1990 and 2007, 15 southern white (Ceratotherium simum simum) and black (Diceros bicornis) rhinoceroses on average were killed illegally every year in South Africa. Since 2007 illegal killing of southern white rhinoceros for their horn has escalated to >950 individuals/year in 2013. We conducted an ecological–economic analysis to determine whether a legal trade in southern white rhinoceros horn could facilitate rhinoceros protection. Generalized linear models were used to examine the socioeconomic drivers of poaching, based on data collected from 1990 to 2013, and to project the total number of rhinoceroses likely to be illegally killed from 2014 to 2023. Rhinoceros population dynamics were then modeled under 8 different policy scenarios that could be implemented to control poaching. We also estimated the economic costs and benefits of each scenario under enhanced enforcement only and a legal trade in rhinoceros horn and used a decision support framework to rank the scenarios with the objective of maintaining the rhinoceros population above its current size while generating profit for local stakeholders. The southern white rhinoceros population was predicted to go extinct in the wild <20 years under present management. The optimal scenario to maintain the rhinoceros population above its current size was to provide a medium increase in antipoaching effort and to increase the monetary fine on conviction. Without legalizing the trade, implementing such a scenario would require covering costs equal to approximately $147,000,000/year. With a legal trade in rhinoceros horn, the conservation enterprise could potentially make a profit of $717,000,000/year. We believe the 35-year-old ban on rhinoceros horn products should not be lifted unless the money generated from trade is reinvested in improved protection of the rhinoceros population. Because current protection efforts seem to be failing, it is time to evaluate, discuss, and test alternatives to the present policy. El Grano de los Datos de Costo Económico con Referencia Espacial y de Beneficio a la Biodiversidad y la Efectividad de una Estrategia de Determinación de Costos Resumen Entre 1990 y 2007, en promedio fueron cazados ilegalmente cada año 15 rinocerontes sureños blancos (Ceratotherium simum simum) y negros (Diceros bicornis) en Sudáfrica. Desde 2007 la caza ilegal de rinocerontes sureños blancos por su cuerno ha escalado a más de 950 individuos al año en 2013. Llevamos a cabo un análisis ecológico-económico para determinar si el comercio legal de cuerno de rinoceronte sureño blanco podría facilitar la protección del rinoceronte. Se usaron modelos lineales generalizados para examinar a los conductores socio-económicos de la caza furtiva, con base en datos colectados desde 1990 hasta 2013, y también para proyectar el número total de rinocerontes con probabilidad de ser cazados ilegalmente desde 2014 hasta 2023. Las dinámicas poblacionales de los rinocerontes fueron entonces modeladas bajo ocho escenarios políticos diferentes que podrían implementarse para controlar la caza furtiva. También estimamos los costos económicos y los beneficios de cada escenario solamente bajo la ejecución aumentada del plan de manejo y el comercio legal de cuerno de rinoceronte y usamos un marco de trabajo de apoyo a decisiones para ordenar los escenarios con el objetivo de mantener la población de rinocerontes por encima de su tamaño actual mientras se generan ganancias para los accionistas locales. Se predijo que la población de rinocerontes sureños blancos se extinguiría en menos de 20 años bajo el manejo actual. El escenario óptimo para mantener la población de rinocerontes por encima de su tamaño actual fue el de proporcionar un incremento mediano en el esfuerzo contra la caza furtiva e incrementar la multa monetaria de la condena. Sin legalizar el mercado, implementar tal escenario requeriría cubrir costos de aproximadamente $147, 000, 000 al año. Con un comercio legal de cuerno de rinoceronte, la iniciativa de conservación podría ganar potencialmente $717, 000, 000 al año. Creemos que la prohibición de 35 años de los productos de cuerno de rinoceronte no debería ser levantada a menos que el dinero generado de este comercio sea reinvertido en la protección mejorada de la población de rinocerontes. Ya que los esfuerzos de protección actuales parecen estar fallando, es momento de evaluar, discutir y probar alternativas a la política actual.
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Rhino dehorning is increasingly seen as a method of halting poaching in vulnerable black rhino populations. However, mathematical models suggest that, under current costs and prices, dehorning must be done annually if poaching is to be made unprofitable. As dehorning carries a risk of rhino mortality, it is unsustainable as an anti-poaching measure. A profit-maximizing manager will dehorn at less frequent, but still unsustainable, intervals. Sustainable dehorning produces near-optimal profits but will not deter poachers.
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Many wildlife commodities, such as tiger bones, bear bladders, ivory, and rhino horn, have been stockpiled in large quantities by speculators who expect that future price increases justify forgoing the interest income associated with current sales. When supply from private stores competes with supply from ‘wild populations’ (in nature) and when speculators are able to collude, it may be optimal to coordinate on an extinction strategy. We analyse the behaviour of a speculator who has access to a large initial store, and finds that it is optimal to deter poachers’ entry either by depressing prices (carefully timing own supply) or by depressing wild stocks. Which strategy maximizes profits critically depends on the initial wildlife stock and initial speculative stores. We apply the model to the case of black rhino conservation, and conclude it is likely that ‘banking on extinction’ is profitable if current speculators are able to collude. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we also find that extinction is favoured by such factors as low discount rates or high growth rates.
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A trade ban limits supply, therefore raising prices and driving black market poaching.
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Development and resource allocation decision processes are increasingly under pressure to take environmental values into account in order to reach optimal economic outcomes. In South Africa new techniques will be needed to incorporate environmental values into environmental impact assessment and in the allocation of water resources under the new National Water Act (1998), both of which require the comparison of alternative scenarios with varying impacts on the environment. This study on the tourism value of rivers in the Crocodile Catchment is the first case study to develop methods for incorporating the economic values of the goods and services provided by functioning aquatic ecosystems into such decision processes. Rivers within the Kruger National Park (KNP) will be affected by water usage in the portions of their catchment areas upstream of the park boundary. The current tourism value of these rivers was considered in terms of revenues to KNP (visitors' on-site expenditure), contribution to the economy (visitors' on-site and off-site expenditure) and recreational value, including consumers' surplus. The effect of a change in river quality was determined using a joint contingent valuation -conjoint valuation approach, whereby respondents rated four different scenarios, each containing four attributes at four different levels. It was estimated that the current value of KNP tourism is about R136 m. in terms of on-site expenditure, R267 m. in terms of economic impact, or all expenditure related to visiting the park, and R1 bn. in terms of consumers' surplus. The latter two values can be added to calculate total recreational value. Four methods were used to isolate the value of rivers from the total tourism value stated above, and all yielded similar values of about 30% of the total. This implies that about 30% of tourism business would be lost if rivers were totally degraded. Thus, rivers within the Crocodile Catchment, which takes 22% of KNP visitor-nights, contribute R9 m. to KNP revenues and have a total annual recreational use value of about R85 m., including off-site expenditure and consumers' surplus. The conjoint analysis generated an equation which is able to predict the change in trip expenditure, or total KNP revenue, associated with changes in levels of any of the four attributes considered. Appearance of the riverscape has the greatest influence on recreational use value, followed by waterbird diversity, aquatic megafauna and riparian tree density. Such models can be used in water allocation decision processes when attribute levels associated with alternative management scenarios are predicted by aquatic ecologists.
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Classifying species by threat status can result in conservation benefits such as increased protection, but can also be an incentive to hunters responding to increased consumer demand for goods perceived to be rare, and therefore valuable. Bioeconomic theory provides a framework for examining the population consequences of differing responses of consumers (demand) and hunters (supply) to perceived rarity. We present a series of illustrative case studies of how perceived rarity affects consumer behavior and hunting pressure, and use a model to explore the scenario of most conservation concern (where rarity itself fuels increased exploitation). Rarity-fuelled demand can have two undesirable outcomes: the species may become trapped at a low population size, or escalating hunting effort may drive the species to extinction. Understanding the response of consumers and hunters to perceived rarity is vital for predicting the impact of intervention strategies that seek to minimize extinction risk.
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Internationally tourism is accepted as one of the world&apos;s fastest-growing industries. The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) indicated that tourist arrivals in 1998 grew by 2.4 % worldwide. The WTO has forecast that the number of people travelling internationally will increase from 613 million in 1997 to 1.6 billion by the year 2020. Ecotourism, which according to the WTO is any form of tourism to an unspoilt nature area,is responsible for 20 % of the world&apos;s total tourism expenditure and is also rated the fastest growing of all tourism sectors. It is also a fact that 80 % of nature conservation in South Africa is taking place on privately owned land such as game farms, and this forms part of ecotourism. The above endorses that ecotourism is an important product for South Africa and a drawcard for international as well as local tourists. The main objective of this study was to determine the economic value of game farm tourism. This will be done by determining the economic value of each of the four pillars on which game farming is based, namely hunting, ecotourism, breeding rare game species andvenison sales. Data collation was done in two ways. Firstly, research was conducted in the form of questionnaires. Game farms were randomly sampled from the database of registered game farms. The aim of this questionnaire was threefold and determined the economic contribution of game farm tourism to ecotourism. Secondly, a literature study was conducted that included the latest data by PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa), Nature Conservation and trophy hunting in South Africa. This paper will argue that game farm tourism makes a significant economic contribution to the economy of South Africa, apart from the substantial economic contribution game farm tourism already makes to conservation. This paper will be organised as follows: The first section deals with the introduction, which indicates the growth of game farm tourism; the second section explains the methodology; the third section discusses the results; and the last section concludes the paper.
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Under certain conditions, it is possible for the costs of enforcing property rights to exceed their benefit for assets with high first-best values. Under these conditions, previously privately held assets may revert to the public domain. This paper analyzes this prospect and considers attempts to lower the gross value of the asset as a possible method of maintaining the private property right. The paper examines several examples including built-in obsolescence and penal colonies to demonstrate the general idea. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.
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Standard economic theory predicts that exploitation alone is unlikely to result in species extinction because of the escalating costs of finding the last individuals of a declining species. We argue that the human predisposition to place exaggerated value on rarity fuels disproportionate exploitation of rare species, rendering them even rarer and thus more desirable, ultimately leading them into an extinction vortex. Here we present a simple mathematical model and various empirical examples to show how the value attributed to rarity in some human activities could precipitate the extinction of rare species-a concept that we term the anthropogenic Allee effect. The alarming finding that human perception of rarity can precipitate species extinction has serious implications for the conservation of species that are rare or that may become so, be they charismatic and emblematic or simply likely to become fashionable for certain activities.
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There is no doubt that the illegal trade in rhino horns is a lucrative industry and is contributing to their extinction in the wild ("Legal trade of Africa's rhino horns," D. Biggs et al. , Policy Forum, 1 March, p. [1038][1]). Conservation psychology can play a role in preventing people from
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In their Policy Forum "Legal trade of Africa's rhino horns" (1 March, p. [1038][1]), D. Biggs et al. advocate legalizing trade in rhino horn through harvesting horns of 5000 white rhinos in South Africa as the panacea to the current rhino poaching crisis. Their arguments were based on the law of
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Professor Lim Chong Yah's S-Curve hypothesis is a simple yet highly insightful theory. By augmenting the mathematical and econometrical sophistication of the hypothesis, this thesis extends the S-curve hypothesis to provide furhter insights into economic growth and transition. The four core chapters in this thesis are closely related yet distinctly different, each dealing with a separate aspect of the S-Curve hypothesis. DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (HSS)
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This paper attempts to explain why growth rates and why growth levels differ so much among the 17 economies in East Asia. The EGOIN theory, the Triple C Theory and the S Curve Theory are used in the explanation. The three hypotheses in the three cognate theories are also tested for their general validity against the growth experiences of the 17 economies. Four statistical tables and six specially prepared graphs are used to support the author's presentation.
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In this paper an econometric model is used to describe consumer demand for ivory and rhino horn in Japan, using the Hendry research methodology. The demand for ivory in Japan, a final consumer, was found to be primarily income-led, with an elasticity of 0.75. International trade restrictions have had a profound effect on the ivory market since 1985. The data for rhino horn demand are less good, consisting of a time series for Japan before 1980, when international trade in rhino horn became illegal. However, analysis suggests that demand for rhino horn was also primarily income-led, with unit elasticity. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993
African rhino. status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC African rhino specialist group
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Government may auction stockpile of rhino horn
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Demand for Rhino Horns in Viet Nam Decreases as a Result of Humane Society International and Viet Nam CITES Management Authority Partnership Campaign, Poll Says
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