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The costs and benefits of animal predation: An analysis of Scandinavian wolf re-colonization


  • Anders Skonhoft

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)


After coming close to extinction, the grey wolf (Canis lupus) has re-colonized Scandinavia during the last two decades. The current population numbers some 100–120 individuals, and is distributed in small packs along the Swedish–Norwegian border. However, with wolf re-colonization, several conflicts have arisen. One conflict is due to wolf predation on livestock, especially sheep and reindeer. Another is predation on wild ungulates. As the wolves have shown a strong preference for moose (Alces alces) in this respect, a smaller moose population is available for game hunting. The cost of increased moose predation by wolves is examined using a two-step process. First, we analyse the costs to landowners, comprising the loss of animals potentially available for hunting less the reduction in browsing damage associated with a smaller moose population. Second, we examine the problem from a broader point of view, where costs external to landowners and local communities are included. By far the most important cost here is damage related to collisions between moose and motor vehicles.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Skonhoft, 2005. "The costs and benefits of animal predation: An analysis of Scandinavian wolf re-colonization," Working Paper Series 5505, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:5505

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anders Skonhoft & Jon Olaf Olaussen, 2005. "Managing a Migratory Species That Is Both a Value and a Pest," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
    2. Zivin, Joshua & Hueth, Brent M. & Zilberman, David, 2000. "Managing a Multiple-Use Resource: The Case of Feral Pig Management in California Rangeland," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 189-204, March.
    3. Ola Flaaten & Kenneth Stollery, 1996. "The economic costs of biological predation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 75-95, July.
    4. Tu, Pierre N. V. & Wilman, Elizabeth A., 1992. "A generalized predator- prey model: Uncertainty and management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 123-138, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bostedt, Göran & Grahn, Pontus, 2008. "Estimating cost functions for the four large carnivores in Sweden," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 517-524, December.
    2. Häggmark-Svensson, Tobias & Elofsson, Katarina & Engelmann, Marc & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2015. "A review of the literature on benefits, costs, and policies for wildlife management," Working Paper Series 2015:1, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
    3. Carole Ropars-Collet & Philippe Le Goffe, 2009. "Modèle bioéconomique appliqué à la gestion du sanglier, dégâts agricoles et prix des chasses en forêt domaniale," Post-Print hal-00730019, HAL.
    4. Ropars-Collet, Carole, 2012. "Nuisible ou gibier? Une analyse économique de la chasse des grands animaux en France," Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, Editions NecPlus, vol. 92(02), pages 161-181, October.
    5. Chen, Shi & Bao, Forrest Sheng, 2015. "Linking body size and energetics with predation strategies: A game theoretic modeling framework," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 316(C), pages 81-86.
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:188-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Galiano, G. & Velasco, J., 2015. "Rearranged nonlocal filters for signal denoising," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 213-223.

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