Wildlife crop raiding influences long-term fate of lands conserved under payments for ecosystem services

Authors: Madeline Giefer*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Human-Environment Geography, China
Keywords: China, crop raiding, human-wildlife conflict, land use land cover change, payment for ecosystem services
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Governor's Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Payments for ecosystem services (PES) has become a leading conservation policy mechanism, but it only ensures conservation as long as landholders are receiving payments. Thus, a key concern is whether lands will remain under conservation or return to agriculture after contracts expire. Crop raiding by wildlife may decrease the likelihood of reconversion because it lowers returns on cultivation; conversely, it may motivate reconversion as some farmers have been known to clear vegetation and resist conservation initiatives in order to reduce crop raiders’ habitat. This study, conducted at Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve in southwestern China, uses a random effects model to estimate how perceived seriousness of crop raiding impacts landholders’ intentions to reconvert PES-enrolled land after the contract expires. Results suggest landholders who have experienced moderate to severe crop raiding are less likely to reconvert their PES-enrolled parcels than those who have not experienced any, but there is a curvilinear effect wherein those who describe crop raiding as “somewhat serious” are more likely to reconvert than those who describe it as “very serious.” This suggests crop raiding impacts the likelihood of reconversion, creating both motivation and demotivation to keep land under conservation. That is, those experiencing moderate crop raiding are content to leave land under conservation, while those experiencing severe crop raiding are more likely to clear PES-sponsored vegetation. This suggests households experiencing moderate crop raiding are most likely to maintain conservation after the contract ends, which may help allocate contracts to households most likely to provide long-term conservation.

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