We present a bioeconomic model for moose Alces alces management in Norway, where two sub-populations of moose are subject to different site-specific mortality rates caused by the spatial distribution of territorial wolf Canis lupus packs, and are coupled by the seasonal migration of moose. The costs and benefits of moose are asymmetrically distributed in space, since they congregate in the wolf territory during winter where most browsing damage occurs. Using a class-structured matrix population model as the basis for bioeconomic analysis, we investigated how the optimal moose management differed between a unified (i.e. maximising overall profit) and a non-unified (i.e. profit maximised at the level of individual landowners) management scheme. Within the unified management scheme, the combined marginal costs and benefits decide the optimal off-take rate, and the relative hunting value and damage costs decide the relative allocation of the harvest between the two sub-populations. In the non-unified management scheme, harvesting takes place up to the point where the private marginal hunting value equals the private marginal browsing cost, while the relative hunting value and damage costs do not influence the optimal management. As the browsing damage that occurs inside the wolf territory is not taken into account in the costs of the area outside the territory within the non-unified solution, optimal moose population size will be higher for the outer area than under the unified solution. This results in an overall economic loss, which increases with increasing migration rates. Whenever the boundaries of political or management units do not follow those of ecological processes, ignoring the spatial resolution of the ecological process will result in sub-optimal management of a renewable resource.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1