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Abstract

Wildlife management agencies increasingly use economic analyses to improve the efficiency of their management policies. Few economic studies consider supply-side analyses for wildlife management, due, in part, to a lack of biological response data that capture the full range of management strategies and the influence of landscape characteristics. This paper uses a simulation model to generate biological response functions, which are then embedded within an economic model to determine least cost management strategies. The procedure is applied to waterfowl management in the Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains. Results highlight management inefficiencies that result from oversimplified response functions that do not account for non-linear relationships or spatial heterogeneity. Results also indicate that intensive management activities, which are generally compatible with agricultural land use, are a cost effective means of achieving waterfowl population objectives. This has important implications for the tradeoff between agricultural and waterfowl production in the Prairie Pothole Region.

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