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An evolutionary game theoretic model of rhino horn devaluation

Nikoleta E. Glynatsi, Vincent Knight and Tamsin E. Lee

Ecological Modelling, 2018, vol. 389, issue C, 33-40

Abstract: Rhino populations are at a critical level due to the demand for rhino horn and the subsequent poaching. Wildlife managers attempt to secure rhinos with approaches to devalue the horn, the most common of which is dehorning. Game theory has been used to examine the interaction of poachers and wildlife managers where a manager can either ‘dehorn’ their rhinos or leave the horn attached and poachers may behave ‘selectively’ or ‘indiscriminately’. The approach described in this paper builds on this previous work and investigates the interactions between the poachers. We build an evolutionary game theoretic model and determine which strategy is preferred by a poacher in various different populations of poachers. The purpose of this work is to discover whether conditions which encourage the poachers to behave selectively exist, that is, they only kill those rhinos with full horns.

Keywords: Evolutionary dynamics; Evolutionary stability; Game theory; Poachers’ interactions; Rhinoceros; Wildlife (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:389:y:2018:i:c:p:33-40