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The Ghost of Extinction: Preservation Values and Minimum Viable Population in Wildlife Models

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  • G. Cornelis van Kooten
  • Mark Eiswerth

Abstract

The inclusion of a minimum viable population in bioeconomic modeling creates at least two complications that are not resolved by using a modified logistic growth function. The first complication can be dealt with by choosing a different depensational growth function. The second complication relates to the inclusion of the in situ benefits of wildlife into the analysis. Knowledge about the magnitude of the in situ benefits provides no guide for policy about conservation management. Simply knowing that people are willing to pay a large amount each year to protect a species says nothing about whether one should manage habitat to protect or enhance the species’ numbers, unless the species is in imminent danger of extinction. If willingness to pay is to be a guide, it needs to be better tied to population numbers, especially the minimum viable population.

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File URL: https://web.uvic.ca/~repa/publications/REPA%20working%20papers/WorkingPaper2008-09.pdf
File Function: Final version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 2008-09.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2008-09

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Keywords: marginal willingness to pay; endangered species and extinction; minimum viable population;

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  1. Bulte, Erwin H. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2001. "Harvesting and conserving a species when numbers are low: population viability and gambler's ruin in bioeconomic models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 87-100, April.
  2. Léonard,Daniel & Long,Ngo van, 1992. "Optimal Control Theory and Static Optimization in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521331586, October.
  3. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
  4. Erwin Bulte & G. van Kooten, 1999. "Marginal Valuation of Charismatic Species: Implications for Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 119-130, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Abbott, Brant & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2011. "Can domestication of wildlife lead to conservation? The economics of tiger farming in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 721-728, February.

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