Incentivise species protection through licensed trophy hunting
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Trophy hunting is the hunting of wild animals for recreation. Usually, this involves large or otherwise distinguished animals, such as large carnivores, or species with large antlers. The animal, or part of it, is kept by the hunter, often for display. Trophy hunting may provide financial support to local communities or conservation initiatives, through locally levied fees (Di Minin et al. 2016). This may increase the perceived value of maintaining populations of such species in the long term and may, hence, incentivise greater habitat and species protection in such areas.
Di Minin E., Leader-Williams N. & Bradshaw C.J.A. (2016) Banning trophy hunting will exacerbate biodiversity loss. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 31, 99–102.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
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