A project of economic-ecological analysis of wolf-livestock interactions in Spain: D.K. Kirby, L. Boitani & R. Ruiz (2004)
"Extensive livestock systems are with increasing frequency facing complex issues balancing the social and economic needs of the farmers and the maintenance of traditional farming systems, with environmental and wildlife conservation considerations. This type of human-wildlife conflict is illustrated by the introduction of wolf conservation measures in Europe in areas where sheep are extensively managed. This has occurred in the Basque region of Spain, where sheep farmers are being severely affected by wolf predation. Although compensation payments are available to farmers, their real impact in reducing the social and economic costs of wolf presence have yet to be analysed, and it may be that the continuation of extensive sheep farming and improvement of livestock quality are being compromised at the current level of financial schemes. It is therefore desirable that the actual level of economic damage to extensive sheep farmers is assessed and quantified so that the trade-offs between wolf conservation and the preservation of the extensive livestock systems can be objectively accomplished. This project aims to provide policy guidelines for the management of livestock and wolf populations in the Basque country at both farm and landscape levels. The proposed methodology will take an interdisciplinary approach, including farmerparticipatory techniques and economic-ecological analysis and modelling. The project will integrate economic optimisation of livestock production with GIS-based predictive modelling of wolf movements and of wolf-livestock interactions. Integrating ecological and economic modelling within a GIS framework will allow area-specific predictions to be made of changes in wolf populations and/or sheep management practices on the economic impact of wolf predation on sheep farming. The output from this work will be used to make policy recommendations for the future management of the wolf-livestock interactions."
"[...] Although compensation payments for livestock damage have been provided within Europe for over two decades, assessment of the effectiveness of these programmes in terms of farm livelihoods and wolf conservation has never been made. This research will therefore provide the first opportunity to develop and disseminate methodologies for assessing the efficacy of compensation payments in the dual context of wolf conservation and farming sustainability. In addition, the results produced will give rise to the development of appropriate policy guidelines in this field.
The project’s ultimate objective is to produce policy guidelines for reducing conflicts arising between wildlife and human interests in Spain. It is anticipated that this methodology could be applied to other wildlife-human interactions, both within and outwith Europe. Although set within a unique set of ecological, cultural and economic circumstances, these issues will have similar underlying principles to which the same approach may be taken."
A project of economic-ecological analysis of wolf-livestock interactions in Spain: D.K. Kirby, L. Boitani & R. Ruiz (2004) http://bit.ly/NZJ2PN Publicado por Centre international de hautes études agronomiques méditerranéennes: http://www.ciheam.org/