, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 109–118

Protected areas, agricultural pests and economic damage: conflicts with elephants and pests in Yunnan, China

  • Clem Tisdell
  • Xiang Zhu


Protected areas are often the source of agricultural pests and Xishuangbanna State Nature Reserve in Yunnan is no exception. The main pest associated with the reserve is the Asian elephant Elephas maximus which causes damage outside the reserve to agriculture and also within the reserve. These elephants are an important attraction for tourists visiting Xishuangbanna. Xishuangbanna prefecture contains the only remaining wild elephants in China. The present direct economic value of tourism within the reserve is much less than the loss resulting from the economic damage caused by the elephants and other species protected by it. Whether the net economic value of protecting this species in Xishuangbanna is positive depends on other factors or future tourism prospects. Methods of controlling pests from the reserve are discussed, as is the scheme for compensating agriculturalists for the damage caused by these pests. The problem of achieving an equitable solution to the pest problem is given considerable attention. The economics of reconciling the conflicting interests of those who either regard a species as a pest or as an asset are considered.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barbier, E.B., Burgess, J.C., Swanson, T.M. and Pearce, D.W. (1990). Elephants, Economics and Ivory. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, G. and Henry, W. (1989) The Economic Value of Elephants. London: London Environmental Economics Centre.Google Scholar
  3. Clark, C.W. (1990) Mathematical Bioeconomics: The Optimal Management of Renewable Resources, 3rd edn. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Coase, R. (1960) The problem of social cost. J. Law Econ. 3, 1-44.Google Scholar
  5. Conrad, J.N. and Clark, C.W. (1987). Natural Resource Economics: Notes and Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Driml, S. and Common, M. (1995) Economic and financial benefits of tourism in major protected areas. Aust. J. Environ. Manage. 2(1), 19-29.Google Scholar
  7. Hardin, G. (1960) The competitive exclusion principle. Science 141, 1291-7.Google Scholar
  8. Hardin, G. (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science 162, 1243-7.Google Scholar
  9. Headley, J.C. (1972) Defining the economic threshold. In Pest Control Strategies for the Future, (Agricultural Board, Division of Biology and Agriculture, National Research Council, eds) pp.100-8. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  10. Mittermaier, R.A. and Werner, T.B. (1990) World of plants and animals in megadiversity countries. Tropicus 4(1), 1, 4-5.Google Scholar
  11. Myers, N. (1988) Threatened biota: hotspots in tropical forests. The Environmentalist 8(8), 1-20.Google Scholar
  12. Pearce, D.W., Markandya, A. and Barbier, E.B. (1989) Blueprint for a Green Economy. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  13. Repetto, R. and Gillis, M. (1988) Public Policies and the Misuse of Forest Resources. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  14. Sukumar, R. (1989) The Asian Elephant: Ecology and Management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Swanson, T.M. (1994) The International Regulation of Extinction. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Thouless, C.R. and Sakwa, J. (1995) Shocking elephants: fences and crop raiders in the Laikipia District, Kenya. Biol Conservat 72, 92-107.Google Scholar
  17. Tisdell, C.A. (1982) Wild Pigs: Environmental Pest or Economic Resource? Sydney: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  18. Tisdell, C.A. (1991) Economics of Environmental Conservation. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  19. Tisdell, C.A. and Zhu, X. (1995) Protected Areas, Agricultural Pests and Economic Damages. Brisbane: Department of Economics, The University of Queensland.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clem Tisdell
    • 1
  • Xiang Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations