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Abstract

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, Elaphas maximus, which causes damage outside the Reserve to agriculture as well as in the Reserve. However, these elephants are also an important attraction to tourists visiting Xishuangbanna. Xishuangbanna Prefecture contains the only remaining wild elephants in China. The present economic value of tourism within the Reserve seems to be much less than the economic d mage caused by elephants and other species protected by it. So the economic value of protecting these species must depend on other factors or future economic prospects. Methods of controlling pests from the Reserve are discussed as also is the scheme for compensating agriculturalists for damages caused by its 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 is considered. The appendix introduces a simple model for optimally controlling the population of a species (variously regarded as a pest and as an asset) from an economic viewpoint.

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