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Economics of Wildlife Readings.docx

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Department
Biology
Course
Biology 3446B
Professor
Robert Solomon
Semester
Winter

Description
Understanding wildlife constituents: birders and waterfowl hunters Abstract: - Compared Texas birders’ (n=718) and waterfowl hunters’ (n=518) commitment to their recreational pursuits, attitudes concerning selected wildlife management practices, and opinions on alternative methods to increase monetary support for nongame programs - Similarities between birders and waterfowl hunters: race, years of experience, why they participated, and what prevented them from participating more in wildlife-related activities - Differences between groups in age, gender, source of income, age of initiation, and social networks revealed that Texas birders were highly committed to their pastime, spending almost 2.5x the yearly amount spent by the waterfowl hunters in pursuit of birds, months on the field, trips, miles traveled, habitats, states and countries visited, and organizational memberships - Birders did not perceive the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as an organization that addressed their interests – they thought of wildlife management as benefiting primarily hunters and game species in Texas Method: - Selection of respondents o Obtained names of 978 Texas birders from the membership lists of the ABA (American Birding Association) and the Texas Ornithological Society o Hunters: Ducks Unlimited (DU) provided 1,300 names of Texan members - Survey instrument o 7 page, 32 item questionnaire sent to samples of birders and waterfowl hunters o 2 versions of questionnaire – same questions but in the contexts of birding or waterfowl hunting o Identify level of commitment through questions on participation, expenditures and social relationships - Response rates o Birders: 76.1% o Waterfowl hunters: 57.3% o More birders than hunters retired o Birders also more educated and higher mean incomes - Commitment o Consistent behavior  Birders begin birding at older mean age  Equal number of years of experience  Birders took more trips, spent more time afield and travelled further  Birders are not limited by season o Affective attachments  Birders listed their spouses as the family member who birded most frequently  Waterfowl hunters indicated their sons, brothers, fathers o Side bets  Respondents asked how much they had spent over the preceding year in each of the several categories related to birding or waterfowl hunting  Birders spent more than hunters for food, lodging, transportation, magazines and books, fees, licenses and permits, and guided tours Reasons for birding or waterfowl hunting - 2 more important reasons given for birding were “to be close to nature” and “fascination with birds” - Hunters: “to be close to nature” and “to be with friends” Factors preventing birding or waterfowl hunting - Birders: “not enough time due to family commitments”, “not enough time due to work” and “loss of habitat where I like to go birding” - Hunters: “not enough time due to work”, “loss of habitat where I like to go hunting” and “lease cost too high” Reactions to statements on hunting and wildlife management - Disagreement between birders and waterfowl hunters on all 9 statements about hunting and wildlife management - Disagreed over “nonhunters’ opinions on wildlife management decisions should equal those of hunters” and “hunting should continue as a management tool” - Birders felt that funds and management focused on game species  less monetary support ti wildlife agencies Management implications - TPWD (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) need to better publicize its nongame efforts because birders who responded felt that the department catered mostly to hunting interests Perceptions of American agricultural producers about wildlife on their farms and  ranches Abstract: - Perceptions of US agricultural producers about wildlife were examined by distributing questionnaires in 1993 and 1994 to 2000 farmers and ranchers o 1000 selected from a random list maintained by Survey Sampling Inc. o 1000 contacted through county offices of the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency - 1347 useable questionnaires returned - Most respondents (51%) purposely managed for wildlife on their farm or ranch o Providing cover for wildlife near fields o Providing a water source o Leaving crop residue in the field o Leaving a portion of the crop unharvested o Providing salt licks - Respondents spent mean of $223 and 14hours/year to help or encourage wildlife on their property - Most (77%) allowed hunting in their properties; 5% charged a fee - 80% suffered damage in the year prior to the survey o 53% reported damage exceeded their tolerance - Spent 43.6 hours and $1,002 in the prior year on trying to solve or prevent wildlife damage o 54% reported losses >$500 annually from wildlife damage - Losses severe o 24% reluctant to provide habitat for wildlife o 38% would oppose the creation of a wildlife sanctuary near their property - Problems caused most often by deer, raccoons, coyotes and ground hogs Review of human injuries, illnesses, and economic losses caused by wildlife in the  United States – a further view of wildlife interactions with people and some  limits to our understanding of the effects Introduction: - Wildlife cause a myriad of problems in the US - Neither the magnitude of the problems in the US nor the magnitude of different types of wildlife problems is known o Effective allocation of resources to solve wildlife-cause problems is hampered - Reasons for lack of perspective: most estimates of losses have been limited to 1 species, 1 crop or 1 state or region - Study compiled published and unpublished data to examine the quality of current data, to identify deficiencies in our knowledge and to asses potential costs of wildlife problems in the US in terms of economic losses and human illnesses, injuries and fatalities Information Review: - Reviewed publics and unpublished reports containing data on economic losses cause by wildlife and communicated with wildlife professionals in each field - Defined wildlife disease as one in which a wildlife species serves as a vector or reservoir for a human disease Human illnesses and fatalities from wildlife-related diseases - 1991: 11,639 reported cases of 11 wildlife related reportable diseases in the US o 192 deaths o Lyme disease accounted for 81% of these cases Human injuries from wildlife bites or attacks - Data of mammal bites collected from various states - Average of 4203 rodent, 76 fox and 113 skunk bites reported o 10.6 rodent/0.2 fox/0.3 skunk bites per 100,000 people - Data indicated that the number of bites by rodents far exceeds the number of attacks by bears, coyotes or mountain lions - Rattlesnakes – 65% of 6000-8000 venomous snake bites annually and account for nearly all fatalities Deer-automobile collisions - 1991: 726,000 deer collided with vehicles o Thought to be severely underreported – estimate > 1,000,000 collisions/year - ~600 moose-vehicle collisions - Average vehicle repair bill $1,577 - Collision is fatal to deer 92% of the time - Human injuries and death can result from collisions as well – 4% injury rate - 4% injury rate + 726,000 collisions = 29,000 human injuries - 0.029% human fatality rate + 726,000 collisions = 211 human fatalities Bird-aircraft collisions - 3,200 bird-aircraft collisions/year - Estimated cost of $15 million annual - Cost/incident = $14,000 - <3 deaths/year - Civilian aircrafts: 3.7 fatalities and 1.2 injuries/year Wildlife damage to agricultural production - Surveyed 6423 grass-roots leaders of the US agricultural community o 89% reported wildlife damage - Estimate wildlife damage to annual agricultural production to be $498 million Wildlife damage to households - Unquantified amount of damage and potentially a large source of economic loss - Surveyed 1000 houses o 57% reported a problem with wildlife species in the last year Wildlife damage to the timber industry - Southeast: beaver is the primary wildlife species that damages souther timber o Annual los off $1.8 million in timber production - Northeast: white-tailed deer cause the most economic loss in this region o Browsing by deer on tree seedlings and sprouts can reduce their height and density – results in understocked stands and longer rotatio
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