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Protecting endangered species: When are shoot-on-sight policies the only viable option to stop poaching?

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  • Messer, Kent D.

Abstract

Protecting endangered species that offer poachers from low-income countries high economic benefits remains a policy challenge. A broadly applicable economic model of poaching shows why CITES international bans have not always been successful, especially in situations where black markets exist and nonpoaching wages are low. In these situations, poachers may have nothing left to lose, since low nonpoaching wages impose a practical cap on the potential economic costs of fines and imprisonment. Thus, the model suggests "shoot-on-sight" policies as the only viable option. Trends in animal populations appear to support the efficacy of the shoot-on-sight policies, which also suggests an inherent value of life traditionally not captured in Value of a Statistical Life estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Messer, Kent D., 2010. "Protecting endangered species: When are shoot-on-sight policies the only viable option to stop poaching?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2334-2340, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2334-2340
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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas J. Crookes & James N. Blignaut, 2016. "A categorisation and evaluation of rhino management policies," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 459-469, July.
    2. Ram Ranjan, 2017. "Tuskers, tasty crops and the forest tribes in between: managing HECs through financial incentives in human–elephant–forest ecosystems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 79-95, January.
    3. Kashwan, Prakash, 2017. "Inequality, democracy, and the environment: A cross-national analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 139-151.
    4. Conrad, Jon M. & Lopes, Adrian A., 2017. "Poaching and the dynamics of a protected species," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 55-67.
    5. Ugochukwu, Albert I. & Hobbs, Jill E. & Phillips, Peter W.B. & Kerr, William A., 2018. "Technological Solutions to Authenticity Issues in International Trade: The Case of CITES Listed Endangered Species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 730-739.
    6. Lee, Tamsin E. & Roberts, David L., 2016. "Devaluing rhino horns as a theoretical game," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 337(C), pages 73-78.

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