Incentivise species protection through licensed trophy hunting

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of incentivising species protection through licensed trophy hunting. This study was in Nepal.



  • Abundance (1 study): A study in Nepal found that after trophy hunting started, bharal abundance increased, though the sex ratio of this species, and of Himalayan tahr, became skewed towards females.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1990–2011 in forest and grassland in a hunting reserve in Nepal (Aryal et al. 2015) found that following commencement of trophy hunting, populations of bharal Pseudois nayaur increased, though the sex ratio of this species, and of Himalayan tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus, became skewed towards females. Twenty-one years after the establishment of trophy hunting, the estimated bharal population was higher (>1,500 animals) than three years after it was established (approximately 400 animals). The proportion of males to females was lower after 21 years (82:100) than three years after (129:100). A similar pattern was seen for the thar population (21 years after: 62:100; three years after: 214:100). The hunting reserve, covering 1,325 km2, was established in 1987. Trophy hunters, especially from outside Nepal, pay for the right to hunt male bharal and tahr. Females are not hunted. Data were collated from a range of sources, primarily derived from vantage point counts.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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