Conservation of wildlife: a bio-economic model of a wildlife reserve under the pressure of habitat destruction and harvesting outside the reserve

Conservation of wildlife: a bio-economic model of a wildlife reserve under the pressure of habitat destruction and harvesting outside the reserve

Modelling the impact of external land use change on species diversity in nature reserves

It is commonly perceived that biodiversity is threatened by many factors of which destruction and reduction of habitats is considered most the important for terrestrial species. This paper argues that, in order to counteract these threats, reserves should be established with restrictions on land-use and exploitation. However, very few reserves can be considered islands, wildlife species roam over large expanses, often via some density dependent dispersal process. As a consequence, habitat destruction and exploitation taking place outside will influence the species abundance inside the conservation area. This paper presents a theoretical model for analysing this type of management problem.

The main finding of the paper claims that habitat destruction outside may not necessarily have negative impact upon the species abundance in the reserve. As a consequence, economic forces working in the direction of reducing the surrounding habitat have unclear effects on the species abundance within the protected area.

The paper also finds that harvesting outside the reserve may have quite modest effect on the species abundance in the reserve. If taking place, harvesting and harvesting profitability outside the reserve have unclear effects on the species abundance in the reserve. This finding underlines the attractiveness of reserves from a conservation viewpoint. [adapted from author]