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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Paying for an Endangered Predator Leads to Population Recovery

Persson, Jens; Rauset, Geir Rune; Chapron, Guillaume


Keeping viable predator populations on a human-dominated planet will require innovative approaches that promote local coexistence with human activities. Conservation performance payments, which are linked specifically to the production of a desired environmental output, have received increasing attention but their effectiveness in predator conservation remains undocumented. Here, we show that paying Sami reindeer herders for wolverine (Gulo gulo) reproductions has been instrumental in the recovery of wolverines in Sweden. Adult female wolverines were significantly less exposed to illegal killing and this allowed the population to more than double in a decade. We argue that this program provides protection for adult female wolverines through a combination of direct monetary value and indirect protection because of monitoring activities. The program's success, even in a system where livestock is the main prey for the predator, reveals an exceptional potential for future implementations in large carnivore conservation.


Conservation; large carnivore; wolverine; Gulo gulo; conservation performance payments

Published in

Conservation Letters
2015, volume: 8, number: 5, pages: 345-350

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Rauset, Geir Rune
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

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