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Determining visitor preferences for rhinoceros conservation management at private, ecotourism game reserves in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: A choice modeling experiment

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  • Lee, Deborah E.
  • Du Preez, Mario

Abstract

South Africa harbours 95% of the world's threatened white rhinoceros (18000) population and 40% of the critically endangered black rhinoceros (1950) population. Increased levels of rhinoceros poaching in South Africa, and the imminent threat of extinction, have emphasized the need for improved management and conservation policies. This study employs a discrete choice experiment in order to value selected supply-side rhinoceros management and conservation strategies at private, ecotourism game reserves in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The valuation setting is couched in real-world management and conservation strategies presently under consideration at state-owned and privately-owned game reserves in South Africa. Results suggest that visitors to these reserves support the sale of stockpiled rhinoceros horn but are strongly opposed to the introduction of trophy hunting or the continuation of rhinoceros darting experiences. Based on the findings of this study, it appears that the choice experiment technique is a promising instrument, which can inform the design of rhinoceros management and conservation policies for privately-owned, ecotourism game reserves in South Africa, with the possibility of extending its use to state-owned nature reserves.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Deborah E. & Du Preez, Mario, 2016. "Determining visitor preferences for rhinoceros conservation management at private, ecotourism game reserves in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: A choice modeling experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 106-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:130:y:2016:i:c:p:106-116
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.06.022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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