Read the case study on page 27 “Protecting Endangered Species with Private Property Rights.”

Read the case study on page 27 “Protecting Endangered Species with Private Property Rights.” Write an essay 1,000-1,250 words, answering the following questions:Economists argue that scarcity is different than poverty. To understand why many wild animals are scarce we need to look at scarcity in the context of private property. Explain how scarcity is affected by private property rights in the case study….pare and contrast how incentives accompanying private property rights can both help protect and endanger the rhino, an endangered species.Be sure to cite at least three relevant scholarly sources in support of your content. These sources can include trade journals and think tank reports.This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.Case studyHave you ever wonderedwhy the wild tiger is endangeredin much of theworld but most cats arethriving? Or why spottedowls are threatened inthe Pacific Northwest butchickens are not? Whyhave elephant and rhinocerospopulations declinedin number but not cattleor hogs? The incentives accompanying private ownership providethe answer.To understand why many wild animals are scarce, considerwhat happens with animals that provide food, most of which areprivately owned. Suppose that people decided to eat less beef.Beef prices would fall, and the incentive for individuals to dedicateland and other resources to raise cattle would decline. Theresult would be fewer cows. The market demand for beef createsthe incentive for suppliers to maintain herds of cattle and to protectthem under a system of private ownership.In some ways, the rhinoceros is similar to a cow. A rhino,like a large bull in a cattle herd, may charge if disturbed. At3,000 pounds, a charging rhino can be very dangerous to humans.Also like cattle, rhinos can be valuable to people—asingle horn from a black rhino, used for artistic carvings andmedicines, can sell for up to $30,000. But when hunting rhinosand selling their horns is illegal, rhinos become a favoritetarget of poachers—people who hunt illegally. Poachers aresometimes even assisted by local people eager to see fewerrhinos present because rhinos make life risky for humans andthey also compete for food and water.However, rhinos are very different from cattle in oneimportant respect: in most of Africa where they naturallyrange, private ownership of the rhino is prohibited. Since1977, many nations have outlawed rhino hunting and forbiddenthe sale of rhino parts. But this approach has only madethings worse for the rhino: between 1970 and 1994, the numberof black rhinos declined by 95%.1 According to SouthAfrican economist Michael ’t Sas-Rolfes, the trade ban “hasnot had a discernible effect on rhino numbers and does notseem to have stopped the trade in rhino horn. If anything,the . . . listings led to a sharp increase in the black marketprice of rhino horn, which simply fuelled further poachingand encouraged speculative stockpiling of horn.”But what if the powerful incentives created by privateownership were instead brought to bear on the rhino? That actuallyhappened for a while in Zimbabwe. Landowners wereallowed to fence and manage game animals on their property.Because they could profit from protecting the big animals,some ranchers shifted their operations from producing cattle towildlife protection, ecotourism, and hunting, often in cooperationwith neighboring landowners. Under these rules, the blackrhino population climbed dramatically. And because rancherswere allowed to cooperate and combine operations, they couldreduce fencing between ranches and manage the larger preservesas a unit, better helping not only rhinos but other valuedwildlife as well.Indeed, several parts of southern Africa have a tradition,extending back to the 1960s, of allowing ownership of wildlife.Namibia, for example, gave those rights to private landholdersin the 1960s and extended them to communal lands in themid-1990s. With this policy change, tribal communities beganto hold ownership rights over the wildlife in their communalareas and were able to keep all revenues from wildlife. Thistransformed the incentives in Namibia. By 2007, Namibiancommunities were receiving $4.3 million from wildlife, saysFred Nelson, a wildlife expert who spent 11 years in Africa developingwildlife management partnerships. The revenues comeprimarily from trophy hunting and tourism ventures—importantnew opportunities in semi-arid areas where income-earning optionsare limited.2To ensure that trophy hunting of elephants, lions, and otheranimals would be profitable, local communities had to protectthe animals and their habitat. These new incentives have led toa natural resurgence in wildlife numbers—lions are returningto areas where they had been overhunted—as well as deliberaterestocking of wildlife. Even the number of black rhinos inNamibia has risen from 707 in 1997, to 1,134 in 2004.Citing the 40 years of progress in Namibia, first bygiving private ranchers rights to wildlife on their propertyand then extending them to tribal communities, Nelsontold an interviewer in 2013, “This is an extraordinaryachievement due to a very iconoclastic approach to conservation.”3 Clearly, property rights to ownership or useare one key to conservation.1See Michael De Alessi, Private Conservation and Black Rhinos inZimbabwe: The Savé Valley and Bubiana Conservancies, available online atwww.cei…./gencon/025,01687.cfm.2Fred Nelson, “Conservation Can Work: Southern Africa Shows Its NeighboursHow,” Swara (East African Wildlife Society) 32, no. 2 (2009): 36–37.3Interview with Fred Nelson, found on March 14, 2013, at www.iucn…./about/union/commissions/sustainable_use_and_livelihoods_specialist_group/sulinews/issue_2/sn2_frednelson.cfmprotecting endangered Species with private-property rightsappliCatiOnS in eCOnOMiCS© AD Hanekom/Shutterstock….©iStockphoto…./sorendls

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