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Abstract

The threat on the survival of animal species due to intensive use of natural resources is incorporated within resource management models, paying special attention to uncertainty regarding the conditions that lead to extinction. The manner in which the potential benefits forgone due to the species extinction (denoted extinction penalty) induce more conservative exploitation policies is studied in detail. When the extinction penalty is ignored, the optimal policy is to drive the resource stock to a particular equilibrium level from any initial state. When the extinction penalty is considered and the conditions that lead to extinction are not fully understood (i.e., involve uncertainty), an interval of equilibrium states is identified, which depends on the penalty and the immediate extinction risk.

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