Legalizing markets and the consequences for poaching of wildlife species: the vicuna as a case study

McAllister, Ryan R.J., McNeill, Desmond, and Gordon, Iain J. (2009) Legalizing markets and the consequences for poaching of wildlife species: the vicuna as a case study. Journal of Environmental Management, 90 (1). pp. 120-130.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Vicuna provide an excellent case study for examining the sustainable use of wildlife Outside protected areas: the community-based conservation approach. Vicuna populations in the high Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru fell to a critically low level, but a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ban on trade in their fiber hits seen numbers recover dramatically, and now live shearing of vicuna for a high-value international market is being promoted as a mechanism to secure both sustainable vicuna populations and local livelihoods. We used a dynamic optimization model to explore the consequences of legalizing markets, including the consequences for poaching which is critical in vicuna dynamics. Using parameters obtained from the literature and expert knowledge, we explored different scenarios for the Argentine region of Cieneguillas. Our results showed that the role of the international market is ambiguous; live shearing for an international market can provide the very best of outcomes for both vicuna and local people, with large herds generating high revenues. But an international market also creates a market for poached vicuna fiber, as a result, vicuna number,, risk once again falling to critically low levels, resulting also in minimal revenues from sale of fiber. The message for the international Community is that if community-based conservation is not implemented carefully then its impact can easily be perverse.

Item ID: 42547
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9630
Keywords: bioeconomics, poaching, nuisance, optimal control, dynamic optimization, trade ban, CITES
Funders: European Union (EU), CSIRO
Projects and Grants: EU Proyecto MACS, CSIRO John Philips Award
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page