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Property Rights and Natural Resource Conservation. A Bio-Economic Model with Numerical Illustrations from the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem

Anne Johannesen and Anders Skonhoft ()

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2004, vol. 28, issue 4, 469-488

Abstract: This study develops a model for wildlifemigrating seasonally between a conservationarea and a neighbouring area. When beingoutside the conservation area, harvesting takesplace by a group of small-scale farmers. Thelocal people have two motives for harvesting;to get rid of ``problem'' animals as roamingwildlife destroys crops and agriculturalproducts, and hunting for meat and trophies.Depending on the specification of the propertyrights, the harvesting is legal or illegal. Itis demonstrated that it is far from clear whichof the two property rights regimes that givesthe highest wildlife abundance. Hence, contraryto what is argued for in the literature,handing the property rights over to the localpeople means not automatically more wildlifeand a more ``sustainable'' resource utilization.The reason lies in the nuisance motive forharvesting. The exploitation under the twodifferent property rights regimes areillustrated by numerical calculations with datathat fits reasonable well with the exploitationof the wildebeest population in theSerengeti-Mara ecosystem. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Keywords: bio-economics; property rights; Serengeti; wildlife (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.1023/B:EARE.0000036774.15204.49

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