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The Economic Importance of Wildlife Conservation on the Otago Peninsula - 20 years on


  • Tisdell, Clement A.


This article updates a paper which I wrote in 1988 about the economic value of biodiversity conservation on the Otago Peninsula and the scope for expanding wildlife tourism there. After outlining different ways to measure the economic importance of wildlife, I use economic impact analysis to measure the current importance of wildlife tourism on the Otago Peninsula. However, it is also pointed out that the activities of bodies such as the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and the Department of Conservation have positive regional economic impacts. The specific methods and assumptions used for this economic analysis are outlined. The gross annual turnover of enterprises directly involved in the viewing of wildlife on the Peninsula is of the order of $6.5 million per year and they employ the equivalent of 70 full-time persons. With multiplier or flow-on effects these economic magnitudes are higher. However, the economic impact of wildlife tourism based on the Peninsula is much greater. The presence of wildlife on the Peninsula attracts travellers to the Dunedin region who would otherwise not visit and entices some who would have visited anyway to stay longer. This increases local expenditure on accommodation, food and so on. As a result, it is estimated that an extra $100 million, or so in expenditure occurs in Dunedin’s regional economy and employment is increased by the equivalent of 800-1000 full-time positions. The economic impact of wildlife on Dunedin’s regional economy has increased by more than eleven-fold in the last 20 years. While growth in tourism on the Peninsula is still possible, it is likely to be at a slower rate than in the past. This is because capacity constraints are being encountered. Furthermore, the future security of the Peninsula’s flagship species is not assured. In addition, problems are emerging where there is free access to areas where wildlife may be seen. It is observed that the opportunity cost of conserving most wildlife on the Otago Peninsula is low, but some conflict may be occurring between wildlife conservation and human uses of marine areas. The paper, however, makes it quite clear that the loss of wildlife on the Otago Peninsula would result in a huge economic loss to the Dunedin region.

Suggested Citation

  • Tisdell, Clement A., 2007. "The Economic Importance of Wildlife Conservation on the Otago Peninsula - 20 years on," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55103, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:55103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tisdell, Clement A. & Swarna Nantha, Hemanath, 2005. "Comparison of Funding and Demand for the Conservation of the Charismatic Koala with those for the Critically Endangered Wombat Lasiorhinus krefftii," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55067, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. Tisdell, Clement A., 2007. "Valuing the Otago Peninsula: The Economic Benefits of Conservation," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55104, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    3. Clem Tisdell (ed.), 2000. "The Economics of Tourism," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 1004.
    4. Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Use and non-use values of wild Asian elephants: A total economic valuation approach," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48961, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    5. Tisdell, Clement A. & Wilson, Clevo, 2003. "Economics of Wildlife Tourism," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48969, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Busch, Jonah & Cullen, Ross, 2008. "Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Yellow-Eyed Penguin conservation measures," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6012, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.


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