Chapter 13: Property rights in non-captive wildlife and biodiversity conservation
In order to reduce the rate of human induced biodiversity loss of wild species, it has become increasingly important to stem this loss on private land. Some writers believe that granting landholders commercial property rights in wildlife will be effective in dealing with this matter and will result in the preservation of biodiversity. This chapter explores this view using economic theory. In doing so, it takes into account the total economic valuation concept. While the granting of commercial property rights is found to be effective for conserving some species, it is predicted to be a complete failure as a means of conserving other species. Furthermore, its potential for success in different regions of the world varies. Here, particular attention is given to the economics of utilization and conservation of non-captive fugitive (or mobile) wildlife.
Considerable concern has been expressed in recent decades about continuing human induced biodiversity loss in the wild (May et al., 1995; Ehrlich, 1995) as well as a loss of genetic diversity in domesticated and cultivated species (Tisdell, 2003a; Tisdell, 2014; see also Chapters 5 and 6 of this book). Several factors have contributed to human induced biodiversity decline of non-captive biota. These factors include appropriation of wildlife habitats by humans, and their alterations to more productively serve human economic goals (Swanson, 1994a; 1994b; 1995), competition of humans with other species for food resources and their other means of subsistence (for example, harvesting of animals or plants by humans at the lower end...
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