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05-07-2017 | Commentary | Issue 12/2017

Biodiversity and Conservation 12/2017

Contrasting bobcat values

Journal:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Issue 12/2017
Authors:
L. Mark Elbroch, Lisa Robertson, Kristin Combs, Jenny Fitzgerald
Important notes
This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Biodiversity exploitation and use.

Abstract

Ecotourism enhances conservation management, promotes non-consumptive use of wildlife, and increases local community resources over that of select individuals when compared with consumptive uses such as hunting or trapping. The bobcat is a cryptic mesocarnivore widely exploited for pelts across North America, and a species increasingly contributing to ecotourism. Here, we report a conservative, non-consumptive economic value of US$308,105 for a single bobcat in Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming for the 2015–2016 winter season, a figure nearly 1000 times greater than exploitive values of US$315.17 per bobcat trapped or hunted in Wyoming in the same season (US$130.53 per bobcat harvested in revenue earned by the state of Wyoming in trapping license sales + US$184.64 per pelt sold by successful trappers and hunters). In 2016, tourism was the second largest industry in Wyoming and generated US$3.2 billion. Our case study emphasizes that current bobcat regulatory policies across North America do not reflect current cultural values, inclusive of both consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife. Therefore, we recommend range-wide regulatory changes to ensure bobcat management is not just sustainable in terms of harvest, but that all people have access to shared resources held in trust.

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Supplementary Material
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 94 kb)
10531_2017_1397_MOESM1_ESM.docx
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