Ecological-economic models of sustainable harvest for an endangered but exotic megaherbivore in northern Australia

Corey J.A. Bradshaw, Barry W. Brook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How can one manage wildlife under a suite of competing values? In isolation, the ecological economics of native wildlife harvest, threatened species conservation and control of exotic species are all well established sub‐disciplines of wildlife management. However, the wild banteng (Bos javanicus) population of northern Australia represents an interesting combination of these aspirations. A native bovid of Southeast Asia now ‘endangered’ in its native range, banteng were introduced into northern Australia in 1849. Today, a population of 8,000–10,000 resides on one small, isolated peninsula in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory and is harvested by both recreational (trophy) and aboriginal subsistence hunters. Indigenous, industry and conservationist stakeholders differ in their requirements for population management. Here we analyze the ecological and economic costs/benefits of a series of potential harvest management options for Australia's banteng population, with the aim being either to: (1) maximize sustainable yield (MSY); (2) maximize harvest of trophy males; (3) maximize indigenous off‐take; (4) suppress density or completely eradicate the population; (5) minimize risk of extinction whilst limiting range expansion; (6) scenarios incorporating two or more of options 1–5. The modeling framework employed stochastic, density‐regulated matrix population models with life‐history parameters derived from (i) allometric relationships (for estimating rmax, generation length, fecundity and densities for a banteng‐sized mammal) and (ii) measured vital rates for wild and captive banteng and other Bos spp. For each management option, we present a simple economic analysis that incorporates estimated costs of management implementation and associated profits projected. Results demonstrate that revenue of >Ä$200,000 is possible from meat production and safari hunting without compromising long‐term population stability or the conservation status of this endangered bovid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-156
Number of pages28
JournalNATURAL RESOURCE MODELING
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

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