Property rights of landholders in non-captive wildlife and prospects for conservation
In order to reduce the rate of human-induced biodiversity loss of wild species, it has become increasingly important to stem this loss on private and tribal lands and to find effective policies to do this. Some writers believe that granting landholders commercial property rights in wildlife might be effective in dealing with this matter and result in the sustainable use of wildlife. This paper explores this view using economic theory. In doing so, it takes into account the total economic valuation concept. While granting of commercial property rights is found to be effective for conserving some species, it is predicted to be a complete failure as a means of conserving other species. In addition, particular attention is given to the economics of the utilisation and conservation of non-captive fugitive (or mobile) wildlife. The economic theory involved is contrasted and compared with that for the exploitation of open-access resources.
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