Conserving rhinos by legal trade: Insights from a choice experiment on rhino horn consumers

Research output: Working paperResearch

A legal rhino horn trade is suggested to reduce poaching. To examine this proposition we conducted a choice experiment with 345 rhino horn consumers in Vietnam investigating their preferences for legality, source, price and peer experience of medicinal efficacy as attributes in their decision to purchase rhino horn. We calculated consumers’ willingness to pay for each attribute level. Consumers preferred and were willing to pay more for wild than semi-wild and farmed rhino horn but showed the strongest preference for legal horn although higher-income consumers were less concerned about legality. The number of peers having used rhino horn without positive effect reduced preference for wild-sourced horn and increased preference for legality. Hence, a legal trade in rhino horn would likely not eliminate a parallel black market. Whether poaching would be reduced depends on the price difference in the two markets, campaigns ability to change consumer preferences, and regulation efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesEcoEvoRxiv Preprints


ID: 273077703