Conservation Management: Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Program & Chinese Analogy

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  1. 1. Conservation Management: Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Program & Chinese Analogy A Presentation by: Bryan Kuek
  2. 2. Outline Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Program Overview Economic Analysis of Human-Wildlife Conflicts Solutions Chinese Analogies Conclusions
  3. 3. Gray Wolf in Yellowstone Largest member of dog family Live, travel and hunt in packs of 4-7 wolves Packs consist of alpha male or dominant pair and other subordinate wolves Alpha male or female lead packs
  4. 4. History of the Gray Wolf Before 1900s, flourished in western US Until early 1900s, extirpated due to conflicts with humans, and habitat loss Migration of the pioneers and development of western US, depleted wolves primary prey, causing them to attack livestock Wolves were viewed negatively as vicious predators that needed to be eradicated
  5. 5. Historical Range
  6. 6. Current Range
  7. 7. The Debate
  8. 8. Recovery and Reintroduction 1966- Wolf reintroduction first proposed to Congress because of increasing elk numbers in Yellowstone. Met opposition by many ranchers. Early 1980s- The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Team was formed by the USFWS. 1987- Defenders of Wildlife offered Wolf Compensation Fund to ranchers for lost livestock. 1995-1996- 66 Wolves from Canada were introduced into central Idaho and Yellowstone
  9. 9. Reintroduction Outcome U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/ species/mammals/wolf/delist2007_ppt.pdf
  10. 10. How can we be civically engaged in the conservation and management of gray wolf?
  11. 11. Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Catalysts: loss of human life, livestock and crop Results: a negative outcome for humans, wildlife or both Solutions: preventative & mitigation measures: such as financial compensation, law enforcement, self-financed insurance schemes
  12. 12. Economic Analysis
  13. 13. Economic Justification for Wolves 1. Overpopulation of elk Overgrazing by elk was harming other ecosystems 2. Reintroducing wolves increases biodiversity Park visitors would increase, thus increasing revenue
  14. 14. Economic Problems with Wolves 1. Reduced elk and other large ungulate (bison/deer) hunting opportunities 2. Wolves would kill livestock of nearby farmers Economic loss through compensation
  15. 15. Methods Used to Make Decisions 1. Hunting elk, animal viewing, existence value for wolves are non-market 2. Hence, surveys were conducted 3. Results of surveys: Wolves are the 2nd most favorite animal to view by visitors. An estimated 105,424 visitors in 2005 would not have visited the park if it had 0 wolves.
  16. 16. Survey Details 1. 2 surveys: One for Yellowstone park visitors, and one for regional and national households
  17. 17. Outcome 1: Increased Spending
  18. 18. Compensation: Verifying Damages Sometimes there is lack of evidence that an animal was killed by a wolf: Under-compensation Sometimes the farmers make false claims or overstate losses (the value of the lost sheep)
  19. 19. Compensation: Incentives Providing full insurance for losses may cause farmers to reduce spending on protection like guard dogs and fences Insurance can also encourage more people to become farmers for unprofitable things, because they are compensated well
  20. 20. Outcome 2: Compensation for Livestock
  21. 21. Outcome 3: Loss of Elk
  22. 22. Comparison
  23. 23. Problem: grassland degradation caused by hunting wolves Purpose: grassland restoration Measures:introduction of eastern wolf Result: the recovery of cottonwood and water resources Yellowstone National Park
  24. 24. Russian Leopard Problem: many subspecies of large cats are endangered Purpose: facilitate a substantial recovery and increase in the number of individuals in the wild Measures: reintroduce program Result: the number of leopard steady increases
  25. 25. Asian Elephant Problem: illegal hunting and the habitat alteration and reduction, elephants become aggressive toward humans Purpose: improve elephants habitat Measures: hunting ban, promote the use of methane gas for fuel purposes, Compensation Result: humans attitudes towards elephant become more friendly, forests increase
  26. 26. Economic Loss and Corresponding Compensation Payment in China
  27. 27. Conclusions Human-wildlife conflict is a complex issue and there is no one size fits all solution Compensating farmers for damage caused by wildlife has been tried as one effective solution around the world Key determinants of success for compensation method include accurate verification of damage, incentive issues
  28. 28. Thank you for listening!

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