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Conserving musk deer in the wild: a comparison of direct payment and community wildlife management strategies

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Community wildlife management and payment for ecosystem services are two promising strategies to conserve wildlife in developing countries. This research project applies a numerical simulation approach to compare both strategies in terms of conservation and economic development outcomes, using musk deer in Nepal as a case study. The optimal policy for a donor, who wishes to induce greater conservation outcomes, depends largely on the resource conditions such as biological growth rates, stock densities, and capture technologies. Community wildlife management performs well when resource conditions are good (e.g., higher stock levels) and/or when the technology is efficient at capturing animals. On the other hand, PES has the potential to induce better conservation outcomes at the margin of profit maximization and to serve as a more appropriate policy when stock sizes are too low. There is also the potential for a mix of both strategies to serve as the optimal policy.
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