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Assessing the impact of restrictive wildlife trade measures on conservation of iconic species in Southern Africa: A systematic review

Hiller, Christina, ‘t Sas-Rolfes, Michael (2024) Assessing the impact of restrictive wildlife trade measures on conservation of iconic species in Southern Africa: A systematic review. Conservation Biology, . ISSN 0888-8892. E-ISSN 1523-1739. (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:104736)

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Trade restrictions are often advocated and implemented as measures to protect wild species threatened by overexploitation. However, in some instances, their efficacy has been questioned, notably by governments in the Southern African (SADC) region, which tend to favor a sustainable use approach to wildlife management. We conducted a systematic review of published literature guided by the PRISMA process to examine the effectiveness of trade restrictions and directly related control measures in addressing threats to species conservation in the SADC region, with a focus on elephants, rhinos, lions, and pangolins. Our review provides a clear and structured synthesis of the existing evidence on the effectiveness of key trade restrictions, in particular their direct conservation impact at species or population level, indirect conservation impact at human behavior or attitude level, and socioeconomic impact on rural livelihoods/well-being and national economies. The analysis revealed that research on these topics has been uneven, with a strong focus on the effects of trade restrictions and law enforcement on crime-related behavior. Research gaps include socioeconomic impacts of trade restrictions, including effects of international restrictions on local livelihoods and consequent secondary conservation impacts, and evaluations of attempts to disrupt criminal networks. Based on the reviewed impact evidence, we discuss how the effectiveness of international trade restrictions depends on a range of fully aligned measures in countries of origin, transit and consumption. For example, our results suggest positive ecological short-term but negative or unknown long-term socioeconomic impacts of domestic restrictions. Based on these findings, we discuss key policy implications and future research avenues.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: wildlife trade; prohibitions; systematic review; PRISMA methodology; CITES; wildlife economy; sustainable use; SADC region
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Tina Hiller
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2024 09:54 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2024 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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