Comparison  of  national  wildlife   management  strategies:     What  works  where,  and  why?

Shalynn  Pack   Rachel  Golden   Ashlee  Walker
Martha  Surridge   Jonathan  Mawdsley
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Executive  Summary

Worldwide,  50%  of  large  mammals  are  in  decline  as  a  result  of  habitat  loss  and  overexploitation,   among  other  threats.  To  protect  large  wildlife,  we  must  identify  which  management  strategies  best   conserve  their  populations.  Management  strategies  differ  in  their  regulation  of  hunting,  ownership   of  wildlife,  funding  mechanisms,  and  the  biological  and  socio-­‐political  contexts  in  which  they   operate.  These  cross-­‐country  differences  are  so  vast  that  few  have  undertaken  the  task  of   comparing  wildlife  management  strategies  on  a  global  scale.  This  broad  comparison  speaks  to  the   question  of,  “What  works  where,  and  why?”  for  wildlife  conservation.   To  answer  this  question  for  policymakers  and  wildlife  managers,  we  conduct  a  comparative  analysis   of  three  distinct  “models”  of  wildlife  management  found  worldwide:  the  North  American  Model,   the  Southern  African  Model,  and  the  No-­‐Hunting  Model.  This  report  conceptualizes,  compares  and   ranks  these  models  based  upon  their  performance,  using  measurable  indicators  and  also   highlighting  differences  in  context.  We  considered  a  model  to  be  successful  if  it  sustains  and/or   increases  wildlife  populations,  generates  high  revenues  compared  to  costs,  and  provides  benefits  to   local  people  living  near  conservation  areas.

Table  1:  Summary  of  three  wildlife  management  models North  American – 1.  Sport  hunting  (US) 2.  Public  Taxes  (Canada)

 

Southern  African  – 1.  Eco-­‐tourism   2.  Sport  Hunting

 

 

No-­‐Hunting (Kenya  &  India) – 1.  Eco-­‐tourism

To  understand  these  models  within  such  a  large  scope,  we  conducted  an  exhaustive  literature   review,  citing  over  280  articles  of  primarily  peer-­‐reviewed  literature  and  government  reports.  Using   this  research,  we  compared  the  models  across  four  categories:  wildlife  population  trends,   economics,  social  support  for  conservation,  and  protected  area  coverage.  Next,  from  each  category,   we  identified  measurable  indicators  of  model  performance  (e.g.  for  economics:  %GDP  contribution   from  wildlife-­‐related  tourism).  Finally,  in  order  to  compare  the  model  performance  in  a  concise  and   simplified  manner,  we  selected  one  indicator  per  category  that  best  exemplified  model   performance.  Our  final  output  is  a  “Model  Performance”  table,  which  shows  each  country’s  ranking   per  the  given  indicator  per  a  color-­‐coding  scheme  (green  =  high,  gray  =  medium,  yellow  =  low).
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Fig.  2:  Model  Performance:
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The  North  American  Model  exhibits  generally  high  performance  for  ecological,  economic,  and   social  goals.  Most  of  the  wildlife  included  in  this  analysis  currently  have  stable  populations.  A   dedicated  federal  funding  mechanism  in  the  US  ensures  that  a  majority  of  wildlife  management   costs  are  covered  by  excise  taxes,  paid  by  hunters  and  anglers.  Furthermore,  the  public  trust   doctrine  provides  all  North  Americans  the  opportunity  to  participate  in  nature-­‐related  activities.       Conditions  which  enable  the  North  American  model  to  succeed  include  participation  in   hunting,  public  access  to  wildlife,  and  enforced  hunting  regulations.  A  threat  to  the  model  is   privatization  of  wildlife  and  land,  as  it  runs  counter  to  the  principles  of  the  public  trust  doctrine.  In   addition,  non-­‐consumptive  users  don’t  directly  pay  for  conservation  the  same  way  that   consumptive  users  do.  This  may  compromise  the  sustainability  of  the  model’s  funding  source  if   participation  in  hunting  declines,  particularly  in  the  US.  To  strengthen  the  North  American  model,  a   funding  mechanism  that  targets  non-­‐consumptive  wildlife  users  should  be  established  at  the  federal   level.       The  Southern  African  Model  has  been  successful  economically  and  to  some  extent  socially,  but   many  wildlife  populations  are  in  decline.  Tourism  and  trophy  hunting  generate  reliable  funding   sources  which  are  then  invested  into  wildlife  conservation  efforts.  National-­‐level  policies  empower   individuals  and  local  communities  with  ownership  and/or  rights  over  the  management  of  wildlife,   enabling  them  to  benefit  from  the  existing  opportunities  in  the  tourism  industry.  The  existing   markets  for  wildlife  use  (e.g.  live  trade,  hunting,  tourism)  create  incentives  among  private   landowners  and  communities  for  sustainable  management  schemes.  In  many  cases,  this  has   encouraged  species  reintroductions,  recovering  depleted  wildlife  populations.     Despite  these  recoveries,  a  number  of  challenges  remain.  Increases  in  population  density   have  led  to  increases  in  human-­‐wildlife  conflict,  particularly  between  pastoralists  and  carnivores.   Heavy  poaching  has  decimated  many  wildlife  populations,  and  many  iconic  species  are  in  decline.   To  strengthen  the  model  and  stabilize  wildlife  populations,  Southern  African  countries  must  find   ways  to  further  incentivize  conservation,  by  establishing  and  clarifying  laws  regarding  benefit-­‐ sharing  with  local  communities,  and  by  making  wildlife  worth  more  alive  than  dead.
The  No-­‐Hunting  Model,  characterized  by  government  ownership  of  wildlife  and  its  reliance  on   tourism  for  external  funding,  generally  exhibits  low  performance  in  this  assessment.  Most  of  Kenya
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and  India’s  large  wildlife  species  are  in  decline  (see  Figure  3  for  the  results  of  our  wildlife  analysis).   Economically,  the  No-­‐Hunting  model  has  not  proven  to  be  self-­‐sustaining;  funding  for  wildlife   conservation  depends  on  fluctuating  tourism  revenues,  which  cover  only  about  half  of  operating   costs,  on  average.  Government  subsidies  must  cover  the  remaining  costs.  Neither  Kenya  nor  India   has  national-­‐level  policies  in  place  that  ensure  that  wildlife’s  benefits  are  shared  with  local   communities;  wildlife  tourism  revenues  generally  remain  in  the  hands  of  the  government  and  the   tourism  operators.       To  be  successful,  this  model  requires  strong  institutions  that  enforce  wildlife  laws,  as  there   are  few  positive  incentives  for  individuals  to  conserve  wildlife.  To  provide  a  lucrative  and   sustainable  funding  source,  governments  must  regulate  and  develop  the  tourism  industry.  Finally,  in   the  face  of  further  human  population  growth,  the  model  must  find  ways  to  ensure  benefit  sharing   with  the  people  who  live  most  closely  with  wildlife.
Fig.  3:  Comparison  among  models  of  population  trends  of  selected  large  mammal  species.

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‘n’  represents  the  number  of  species  included  in  the  analysis.    There  is  no  significant  difference   between  the  Hunting  Models  and  No-­‐Hunting  Model  in  terms  of  the  percent  of  large  mammal   species  in  decline  (paired  t-­‐test,  p  =  0.46,    t  =  1.3010,  df  =  1,  standard  error  of  difference  =  25.550  ).   See  Appendix  III  for  full  list  of  species.  Source:  IUCN  2012.

Conclusion:  None  of  these  wildlife  management  models  is  perfect,  and  each  country  faces  a   unique  set  of  challenges  to  conserving  its  wildlife.  Yet,  comparing  these  country’s  achievements  in   wildlife  management,  while  acknowledging  differences  in  contexts,  offers  a  valuable  lesson  in  “what   works,  where,  and  why”  for  wildlife  management  strategies.  Future  research  could  build  upon  this   report  by  examining  how  successful  components  of  a  model  could  be  “scaled  up”  or  transferred  to   different  regions.         The  future  of  wildlife  hinges  on  our  ability  to  conserve  populations  and  habitat  while   balancing  the  needs  of  peoples  and  economies.  We  hope  that  this  report  offers  useful  knowledge   for  policy  makers,  who  will  work  to  address  this  challenge  in  policy  and  practice  to  ensure   sustainable  wildlife  management.