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"'Counting Sheep': The Comparative Advantages of Wildlife and Livestock – A Community Perspective"

Michael J. Murphree

Community wildlife management programmes across Africa have strived to encourage wildlife management over livestock production by small scale rural farmers. However, despite data that indicates a higher return per sq km and improved habitat management in areas under wildlife management systems, small scale farmers in communal situations will in almost all cases favour livestock over wildlife.

Why?

There are several factors that determine the comparative advantages of livestock and wildlife such as tenure, policy/legislation and the fugitive nature of the wildlife resource. These factors have traditionally worked against wildlife as an attractive and viable land use option by small scale farmers in communal tenure regimes. However, wildlife has advantages of its own such as resistance to drought and disease, cultural and traditional values, high economic returns (in certain circumstances) and is most often the “meat” of preference. Where are we in this balancing act of choices? With over twenty years of community wildlife management experience in Southern Africa what are the current trends? Will community wildlife management programmes even out the advantages and disadvantages? Does Southern Africa have lessons to learn from other parts of Africa? This paper will examine these issues and questions from the perspective of a small scale communal farmer.

murphree

Audio of presentation
(MP3, 11 MB)

Video of presentation (Quicktime):
Part 1 (23 MB)
Part 2 (31 MB)

PDF of slides

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(viewable online)

 

Biography for
Michael Murphree

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