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Bauer H.,University of Oxford | Muller L.,Chyulu Conservation & Research Center | Van Der Goes D.,Chyulu Conservation & Research Center | Sillero-Zubiri C.,University of Oxford
ORYX | Year: 2015

Compensation schemes can contribute to equitable sharing of benefits from wildlife. We describe a scheme that uses tourist fees for partial and conditional compensation of damage to livestock caused by wildlife on Kuku Group Ranch, Kenya. The explicit aim of the scheme is to decrease the killing of lions Panthera leo by Maasai on community land in the Amboseli–Tsavo ecosystem. During 2008–2013 the scheme spent a mean of USD 100,000 per year, and although livestock losses remained constant the killing of lions decreased significantly. The percentage of claims where part of the compensation was withheld as a penalty for negligent husbandry practices decreased significantly over time but remained high; poor herding in particular remains a problem. We weigh our results against arguments found in a literature survey; our findings support the negative arguments of moral hazard (i.e. the risk that compensation reduces the incentive to prevent damage) and post-project collapse. Despite these weaknesses the compensation scheme was effective, affordable and sustainable. We conclude that compensation is a useful conservation tool in situations where there is an imminent threat to biodiversity, and sustainable funding sources are available. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2015

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