Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling


  • Corresponding Editor (ad hoc): K. Criddle. For reprints of this Forum, see footnote 1, p. 3.


Although market-based incentives have helped resolve many environmental challenges, conservation markets still play a relatively minor role in wildlife management. Establishing property rights for environmental goods and allowing trade between resource extractors and resource conservationists may offer a path forward in conserving charismatic species like whales, wolves, turtles, and sharks. In this paper, we provide a conceptual model for implementing a conservation market for wildlife and evaluate how such a market could be applied to three case studies for whales (minke [Balaenoptera acutorostrata], bowhead [Balaena mysticetus], and gray [Eschrictius robustus]). We show that, if designed and operated properly, such a market could ensure persistence of imperiled populations, while simultaneously improving the welfare of resource harvesters.