Viernes 25 de octubre de 2013Dr. Raúl Valdez (New Mexico State University)
The major challenge facing natural resource conservation is human overpopulation and overconsumption. Humans are not sustainably managing natural resources. Sustainable management involves much more than knowledge of science. Social and economic solutions, that are people problems, are the basis for resolving wildlife conservation challenges. Wildlife is one of the resources most impacted by humans because of the failure to adequately price the value of wildlife. During my travels and studies of wild sheep and goats in Asia, I have personally observed the harmful impacts of human societies on wildlife populations, even in areas with low human populations. Wild sheep and goats are some of the most desirable hunting trophies. Asia is the center of wild sheep and goat evolution and it is in Asia that the greatest number of species occurs. Trophy hunts of wild sheep and goats can be very expensive, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the value of wild sheep and goats hunts can exceed the value of domestic livestock production. Rural communities are now participating in wild sheep and goat conservation programs because they now have economic incentives. The important point is that wildlife conservation can be possible for landowners and local communities if they have a financial interest in protecting wildlife on their lands. Private and communal property stakeholders have the greatest potential and incentives to sustainably manage wildlife. Wildlife planning approaches must be based on a strong component of social participation including the planning, execution, and economic rewards of conservation programs.