The Economics of Protecting Tiger Populations: Linking Household Behaviour to Poaching and Prey Depletion
CIES Working Paper No. 0140
36 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2002
Date Written: November 2001
The tiger (Panthera tigris) is classified as endangered (IUCN, 2000). The population of wild tigers continues to decline, despite substantial conservation investments by governments and international agencies. This paper presents a formal economic analysis of the two most imminent threats to the survival of wild tigers: poaching of wild tigers and hunting their prey. A model is developed to examine the interactions between wild tiger and farm households living in and around tiger habitats. The analysis extends the most recent model of tiger demography to incorporate predator-prey interactions and explores the sensitivity of tiger populations to key economic parameters. To our knowledge this is the first formal investigation into the economic causes of declining tiger populations. It is hoped that the analysis may contribute to the policy debate on how best to protect one of the world's most endangered wild cats.
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