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      Blood does not buy goodwill: allowing culling increases poaching of a large carnivore

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          Abstract

          Quantifying environmental crime and the effectiveness of policy interventions is difficult because perpetrators typically conceal evidence. To prevent illegal uses of natural resources, such as poaching endangered species, governments have advocated granting policy flexibility to local authorities by liberalizing culling or hunting of large carnivores. We present the first quantitative evaluation of the hypothesis that liberalizing culling will reduce poaching and improve population status of an endangered carnivore. We show that allowing wolf ( Canis lupus) culling was substantially more likely to increase poaching than reduce it. Replicated, quasi-experimental changes in wolf policies in Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, revealed that a repeated policy signal to allow state culling triggered repeated slowdowns in wolf population growth, irrespective of the policy implementation measured as the number of wolves killed. The most likely explanation for these slowdowns was poaching and alternative explanations found no support. When the government kills a protected species, the perceived value of each individual of that species may decline; so liberalizing wolf culling may have sent a negative message about the value of wolves or acceptability of poaching. Our results suggest that granting management flexibility for endangered species to address illegal behaviour may instead promote such behaviour.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Recovery of large carnivores in Europe's modern human-dominated landscapes.

          The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large carnivore species, with stable or increasing abundance in most cases in 21st-century records. The reasons for this overall conservation success include protective legislation, supportive public opinion, and a variety of practices making coexistence between large carnivores and people possible. The European situation reveals that large carnivores and people can share the same landscape. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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            Simulation Run Length Control in the Presence of an Initial Transient

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              Paying for Tolerance: Rural Citizens' Attitudes toward Wolf Depredation and Compensation

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proc Biol Sci
                Proc. Biol. Sci
                RSPB
                royprsb
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society
                0962-8452
                1471-2954
                11 May 2016
                11 May 2016
                : 283
                : 1830
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences , Riddarhyttan 73091, Sweden
                [2 ]Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin , 30A Science Hall, 550 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA
                Author notes
                [†]

                These authors contributed equally to this study.

                Article
                rspb20152939
                10.1098/rspb.2015.2939
                4874699
                27170719
                © 2016 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Naturvårdsverket, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100004357;
                Funded by: SESYNC;
                Categories
                1001
                60
                69
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                May 11, 2016

                Life sciences

                conservation, illegal hunting, policy signal, large carnivore, wolf

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