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Comparison of national wildlife management strategies: What works where, and why?

Working Paper

Comparison of national wildlife management strategies: What works where, and why?

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Largely due to influences related to dramatic human population growth, threats to many species are on the rise globally. An examination of mammals assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) determined the major threats facing terrestrial mammal populations in Canada. Significant threats were associated with habitat loss and overall mortality caused directly by humans. Carnivores and rodents differed substantially in mortality caused directly by humans and loss of food resources. Large mammals were more affected by climate change than small mammals.
Chapter
This chapter is about establishing mechanisms that price wildlife, how these mechanisms work and how they can be valuable for promoting economic development and conservation simultaneously. It uses several examples, mainly from Zimbabwe, to describe how wildlife was converted from a public good with little or even a negative value to landholders, into a private good which landholders or communities have a positive incentive to produce. It explains why wildlife has a comparative economic advantage and is often a better use of agriculturally marginal savannahs than more conventional livestock monocultures, and provides data from the private ranching sector in Zimbabwe to support this argument. The central assertion in the chapter is that both wildlife conservation and economic development are best served in much of savanna Africa by converting wildlife into a commercial asset. This is achieved by modifying macro-economic institutions and legislation so that mechanisms develop to ensure prices more closely reflect scarcity or value, and resources are allocated more efficiently. This would ensure that where wildlife has a comparative advantage, it would be reflected in incentive structures and landholders would produce wildlife rather than livestock which owes much of its past prominence to fiscal and environmental subsidisation.