The economics of managing infectious wildlife disease

  • Horan R
  • Wolf C
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Abstract

We use a two-state linear control model to examine the socially optimal management of disease in a valuable wildlife population when diseased animals cannot be harvested selectively. The two control variables are nonselective harvests and supplemental feeding of wildlife, where feeding increases both productivity and disease prevalence. We derive a double singular solution which depends on the initial state and does not require bang-bang controls. The case of bovine tuberculosis among Michigan white-tailed deer is analyzed. In the base model, the disease is optimally maintained at low levels, with intermittent investments (via feeding) in deer productivity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Double singular solution
  • Linear control
  • Nonselective harvests
  • White-tailed deer

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Authors

  • Richard D. Horan

  • Christopher A. Wolf

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