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Trophy hunters’ willingness to pay for wildlife conservation and community benefits.

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Fischer, A., Tibebe Weldesemat, Y., Czajkowski, M., Tadie, D. & Hanley, N. (2015) Trophy hunters’ willingness to pay for wildlife conservation and community benefits. Conservation Biology. Published online 3rd March 2015.

In the face of fundamental land-use changes, the potential for trophy hunting to contribute to conservation is increasingly recognised. Trophy hunting can, for example, provide economic incentives to protect wildlife populations and their habitat, but empirical studies on these relationships are few and tend to focus on the effects of benefit-sharing schemes from an ex post perspective. This study investigated the conditions under which trophy hunting could facilitate wildlife conservation in Ethiopia ex ante. The authors used a choice experiment approach to survey international trophy hunters’ (n = 224) preferences for trips to Ethiopia. Participants expressed strong preferences and, consequently, were willing to pay substantial premiums for hunting trips to areas with abundant nontarget wildlife where domestic livestock was absent and for arrangements that offered benefit sharing with local communities. For example, within the range of percentages considered in the survey, respondents were on average willing to pay an additional $3900 for every 10 percentage points of the revenue being given to local communities. The study suggest that trophy hunting in Ethiopia could generate substantially more financial support for conservation and be more in line with conservation objectives than is currently the case.

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