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Abstract

In response to nutria-linked degradation of much of its coastal wetlands, Louisiana established the Coastwide Nutria Control Program (CNCP) in January 2002. CNCP instituted, among other things, an ‘‘economic incentive payment’’ of $4.00 per delivered nutria tail from registered participants in the program. To examine whether this bounty has had an impact on nutria harvest and whether alternative bounty levels can, in general, generate additional harvesting activities, we developed a bioeconomic supply model that relates Louisiana’s annual nutria harvests to a suite of economic and environmental factors. Results suggested that the annual nutria harvest is responsive to both the price received per animal and costs. Results also suggested that the nutria harvest has increased as a result of the bounty, but that the initial bounty of $4.00 per tail may be insufficient to achieve the state’s goal of harvesting 400,000 animals per year but that a bounty equal to $5.00 per tail would likely achieve the stated goal.

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