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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 277-290

A Baseline Analysis of Transboundary Poaching Incentives in Chiquibul National Park, Belize


1 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; Current affiliation: New England Anti Vivisection Society, Boston, MA, USA
2 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and James Madison College, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Correspondence Address:
Katherine Groff
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; Current affiliation: New England Anti Vivisection Society, Boston, MA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.121031

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When local and external interests differ, community development and conservation goals may conflict. This interest divide is especially apparent in the management of resources across national borders. This study considers illegal hunting of wildlife in Belize's Chiquibul National Park (CNP), which may contribute to decreasing wildlife populations. Community residents in neighbouring Guatemala engage in poaching within CNP, but management strategies are limited to Belizean efforts. This research assesses Guatemalan residents' perceptions of the extent of poaching, understanding of wildlife in CNP, and views on the legality and motivations for poaching. We address these objectives by interviewing Guatemalan border community residents, along with authorities on both sides of the border. Our findings indicate that cross-border poaching by Guatemalan residents is declining, yet still prevalent, in these communities. However, this research demonstrates little support for the hypothesis that regulations or punishments limit poaching. Instead, the subsistence needs of hunters and their families was found to be a more important factor affecting residents' decision to poach. Park managers should design conservation interventions accordingly.


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