Wildlife conservation policies and incentives to hunt: an empirical analysis of illegal hunting in western Serengeti, Tanzania

Wildlife conservation policies and incentives to hunt: an empirical analysis of illegal hunting in western Serengeti, Tanzania

Illegal hunting is related to land use in agriculture, Serengeti

This paper examines the factors which determine participation and effort in illegal hunting, in western Serengeti, Tanzania. It studies the impact on illegal hunting of the integrated conservation and development project, the Serengeti Regional Conservation Project (SRCP), and looks at how the pattern of crop production in agriculture, market accessibility and wildlife-induced damage to crops and domestic animals affect illegal hunting.

The main findings include:

  • the probability of both illegal hunting in the village area and in the protected area are independent of participation in the SRCP. However, hunting intensity is lower for hunters from SRCP villages
  • hunting in western Serengeti seems to be related to land use in agriculture: some types of crops are detrimental to the hunting activity
  • households who use a relatively large acreage for maize production are less likely to hunt, both in the village area and in the protected area
  • the intensity of hunting is negatively related to the amount of land cultivated for maize, as well as cotton
  • there is no support in the analysis that selling food crops will reduce illegal hunting, yet policies that stimulate increased maize and cotton production and reduced millet production have the potential to reduce hunting pressure. However, any agricultural expansion involving land clearing may have a negative impact on wildlife conservation due to reduced wildlife habitat

[Adapted from author]