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Poaching is more than an enforcement problem

MacMillan, Douglas C. (2014) Poaching is more than an enforcement problem. Conservation Letters, 7 (5). pp. 484-494. ISSN 1755-263X. (doi:10.1111/conl.12082) (KAR id:38289)


Today record levels of funding are being invested in enforcement and anti-poaching measures to tackle the “war on poaching,” but many species are on the path to extinction. In our view, intensifying enforcement effort is crucial, but will ultimately prove an inadequate long-term strategy with which to conserve high-value species. This is because: regulatory approaches are being overwhelmed by the drivers of poaching and trade, financial incentives for poaching are increasing due to rising prices and growing relative poverty between areas of supply and centres of demand, and aggressive enforcement of trade controls, in particular bans, can increase profits and lead to the involvement of organised criminals with the capacity to operate even under increased enforcement effort. With prices for high-value wildlife rising, we argue that interventions need to go beyond regulation and that new and bold strategies are needed urgently. In the immediate future, we should incentivise and build capacity within local communities to conserve wildlife. In the medium term, we should drive prices down by reexamining sustainable off-take mechanisms such as regulated trade, ranching and wildlife farming, using economic levers such as taxation to fund conservation efforts, and in the long-term reduce demand through social marketing programs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/conl.12082
Uncontrolled keywords: CITES; community conservation; demand reduction; enforcement; high-value wildlife; regulation; wildlife trade
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Douglas MacMillan
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2014 12:13 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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MacMillan, Douglas C..

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