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The Ghost of Extinction: Preservation Values and Minimum Viable Population in Wildlife Models

Author

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  • G. Cornelis van Kooten
  • Mark Eiswerth

Abstract

The inclusion of a minimum viable population in bioeconomic modeling creates at least two complications that are not resolved by using a modified logistic growth function. The first complication can be dealt with by choosing a different depensational growth function. The second complication relates to the inclusion of the in situ benefits of wildlife into the analysis. Knowledge about the magnitude of the in situ benefits provides no guide for policy about conservation management. Simply knowing that people are willing to pay a large amount each year to protect a species says nothing about whether one should manage habitat to protect or enhance the species’ numbers, unless the species is in imminent danger of extinction. If willingness to pay is to be a guide, it needs to be better tied to population numbers, especially the minimum viable population.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Cornelis van Kooten & Mark Eiswerth, 2008. "The Ghost of Extinction: Preservation Values and Minimum Viable Population in Wildlife Models," Working Papers 2008-09, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2008-09
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    File URL: https://web.uvic.ca/~repa/publications/REPA%20working%20papers/WorkingPaper2008-09.pdf
    File Function: Final version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bulte, Erwin H. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2001. "Harvesting and conserving a species when numbers are low: population viability and gambler's ruin in bioeconomic models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 87-100, April.
    2. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
    3. Erwin Bulte & G. van Kooten, 1999. "Marginal Valuation of Charismatic Species: Implications for Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 119-130, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Abbott, Brant & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2011. "Can domestication of wildlife lead to conservation? The economics of tiger farming in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 721-728, February.
    2. Naald, Brian Vander & Cameron, Trudy Ann, 2011. "Willingness to pay for other species' well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1325-1335, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marginal willingness to pay; endangered species and extinction; minimum viable population;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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