THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF MOOSE IN NORWAY - A REVIEW
In Norway, the landowners' income from forestry and farming has decreased, mainly due to changes in international trade and trade conventions, and they are looking for new sources of income. In Norway, as opposed to Canada and USA, the landowner holds the right to hunt on their own land, and the meat from the hunt is sold on the free market. Still, a large, but unknown portion of the hunting permits are used in a closed market of landowners, their friends and local people wherein the only economic value of hunting is free or cheap meat to hunter and landowner. With increasing moose populations and increasing potential income for the landowner, more hunting permits are sold on the open market, where the hunters pay for the meat and/or the hunting experience. The main economic costs are moose browsing on pine plantations and moose-vehicle collisions. Crop damage is an additional small cost. The socioeconomic estimates of benefits and costs vary considerably depending on the methods used. The two main estimation problems are the closed hunting marked and damage to plantations, which first show economical losses after about 100 years. The estimates of total annual revenue range from US $70 to 90 M and the costs from US $23 to 80 M. When setting the economic carrying capacity for moose, the increased costs of forest damage and traffic accidents, and mitigating countermeasures, should be compared to the increase in income associated with one more moose added to the population. In Norway, the regional management units set regional goals, whereas the duty of national wildlife authorities is to ensure that national and international goals are met. To succeed in managing the moose population to an optimal economic carrying capacity, a broad cooperation between interest groups that detailed spatial economic and ecological knowledge will be needed. We predict that increased economic revenue will become an important objective for many moose regions.
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