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Poaching and the dynamics of a protected species

Jon M. Conrad and Adrian A. Lopes

Resource and Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 48, issue C, 55-67

Abstract: We develop a model of an opportunistic poacher harvesting a protected species within a protected area. A labor allocation problem is coupled with species population dynamics using a Gordon-Schafer framework in order to numerically estimate approach paths for population and poaching. Our model reveals that population dynamics can witness convergence to steady states, period-doubling bifurcation, and “deterministic” chaos for variations in policy parameters. We find that poaching fines, wage rates in and around protected areas, anti-poaching enforcement, and black market prices for the protected resource each have qualitatively different effects on population dynamics. Moreover, the effects differ significantly across a broad range of species. We find several instances of policy-induced counterintuitive population dynamics that result from unstable equilibriums in resource systems. Bifurcation diagrams and harvest feedback policies are derived to provide insight into counterintuitive dynamics that can arise in coupled ecological–economic systems.

Keywords: Bioeconomic models; Population dynamics; Poaching; Stability analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q20 Q27 Q28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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