Hunting in the tropics: examining hunter rationality [Wed, Feb 3]

Excessive hunting pressure is a major threat to tropical vertebrates. Research on hunters has broadly assumed that hunters are rational economic agents, willing to switch to more attractive alternative activities. However, my study in Southwest China demonstrates that villagers may be highly unwilling to stop hunting, despite low expected catch rates and stiff penalties for hunting and gun ownership. I will primarily discuss a project that used quantitative and qualitative interviews to elucidate the behavior of hunters, as well as the application of novel techniques to analyze these data. I will also discuss ongoing research that combines field data with theoretical models to explore how resilient prey may subsidize the continued harvest of rare game species. I am eager to receive feedback and share ideas with audience members.

Charlotte Chang
PhD candidate | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University