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2014-04-23 | Research Brief

Conserving critically endangered central African Mountain Gorillas from poaching threats

Muchapondwa, Edwin, Precious Zikhali and Birgit Bednar-Friedl. 2014. “Conserving critically endangered central African Mountain Gorillas from poaching threats”
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Presently, the mountain gorilla in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is endangered, mainly by poaching and habitat loss. Revenue from gorilla tourism is shared with local communities, but the current scheme yields less-than-optimal conservation outcomes and therefore cannot be entrusted with long-term conservation. However, a performance-linked benefit sharing scheme, in which the park agency makes payments to the local community based on the increase in the gorilla population, can achieve socially optimal conservation. This scheme would make it unnecessary for the local community to poach. Therefore, it becomes unnecessary to impose poaching fines and anti-poaching enforcement on the local community. However, the ideal benefit sharing scheme would require a huge financial outlay. An appropriate pricing strategy for gorilla tourism could raise more money for this conservation scheme.