In 1997 the Mexican federal government implemented a system of wildlife use and conservation units (UMAs [from its name in Spanish]) as a national strategy to promote wildlife management, biodiversity conservation, and rural development in Mexico. We provide a critique of the first 8 years of UMA operations. We argue that UMAs have resulted in increased introduction of exotic species in an attempt to diversify the sport-hunting opportunities and failed to economically benefit local communities. A lack of technical capabilities needed to conduct wildlife population studies and evaluations to assess harvest rates, favoritism in establishing the UMA network, and the lack of institutional regulation have also impacted program success. We propose some solutions that could enhance the performance of UMAs and wildlife management and conservation in Mexico.
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Vol. 34 • No. 5