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Title: Comparing extinction risk and economic cost in wildlife conservation planning
Author: Haight, Robert G.
Publication: Ecological Applications. 5(3): 767-775.
Key Words: cost of habitat preservation, decision model, economic efficiency, extinction risk, forest-dependent wildlife, forest management, habitat conservation planning, optimal harvesting, population models, population viribility analysis, risk and uncertainty, stochastic simulation model
Abstract: Planning regulations pursuant to the National Forest Management Act of 1976 require the USDA Forest Service to produce cost-effective, multiple-use forest plans that ensure the viability of native wildlife populations within the planning area. In accordance with these regulations, this paper presents a method for determining cost-effective conservation plans for sensitive wildlife species. The method is a decision framework for determining what forest areas should be managed as habitat to meet a population viability constraint and what areas should be used for timber production to maximize the present value of revenue from timber yields. The viability constraint is a minimum probability of meeting a standard for the risk of population extinction. This viability constraint focuses regulatory decisions on two key parameters: the standard for extinction risk and the probability of attaining the standard. The decision model is used to estimate the economic costs of these parameters. Examples for single- and multi-patch conservation problems show that the cost of habitat preservation increases as the standard for extinction risk becomes more stringent and as the required probability of attainment increases. Results from the decision model are useful for evaluating research and monitoring activities and determining the economically efficient risk standard.
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