A review of the ecological and socioeconomic characteristics of trophy hunting across Asia

09 January 2023

Animal Conservation

B. G. Parker, M. Khanyari, H. Ambarlı, B. Buuveibaatar, M. Kabir, G. Khanal, H. R. Mirzadeh, Y. Onon, M. S. Farhadinia

View Journal Article / Working Paper

The continuing debates about trophy hunting should be underpinned by an understanding of at least the basic characteristics of the practice (e.g. species, quotas, areas, prices). Whilst many countries in Asia have established trophy hunting programmes of considerable importance to conservation and local livelihoods, there remains some ambiguity over the extent of trophy hunting in Asia as its basic characteristics in each country have not been compiled. In this study, we compile information on various ecological and socioeconomic characteristics of trophy hunting of mammals for countries across Asia by reviewing published and unpublished literature, analysing trade data, and obtaining contributions from in-country contacts. Across Asia, established trophy hunting programmes exist in at least 11 countries and target at least 30 species and one hybrid (incl., five Vulnerable and one Endangered species). Trophy hunting in these countries varies markedly in areas (e.g. >1 million km2 in Kazakhstan, 37% of country, vs. 1325 km2 in Nepal, <1% of country) and annual offtakes (e.g. Kazakhstan: 4500 individuals from 4 of 5 trophy species; Pakistan: 229 from 4 of 7; Mongolia: 155 from 6 of 9; Tajikistan: 126 from 3 of 6; Nepal: 22 from 3 of the 4 that are trophy hunted in practice). Permit prices also vary across species and countries, with domestic and international hunters sometimes charged different rates. Hunters from the USA appear overwhelmingly prominent among international clients. National legislations typically mandate a proportion of trophy hunting revenue to accrue locally (range: 40–100%). We provide five key recommendations for research to inform trophy hunting policy in Asia: (1) Ecological impact assessments; (2) Socioeconomic impact assessments; (3) Evaluations of the contributions of trophy hunting to conservation spending; (4) Evaluations of the contributions of trophy hunting to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; (5) Further examinations of perceptions of trophy hunting.