Simulating demographic and socioeconomic processes on household level and implications for giant panda habitats

Journal or Book Title: Ecological Modelling

Keywords: Household; Fuelwood consumption; Modeling; Simulation; Giant Panda; Habitat; Wolong Nature Reserve; Population; Environment; Natural resources; China

Volume/Issue: 140

Page Number(s): 31-50

Year Published: 2001


Human activities have significantly affected wildlife habitats. Although the ecological effects of human impacts
have been demonstrated in many studies, the socioeconomic drivers underlying these human impacts have seldom been studied. We developed a household-based, stochastic, and dynamic model that simulates the impacts of household demographic and socioeconomic interactions on fuelwood use, a key factor affecting the quantity and quality of habitats for the giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Using Wolong Nature Reserve (China) as a case study, this model mimics household production and consumption processes and integrates various demographic and socioeconomic factors. Household interviews conducted in 1998 within the Reserve provided the data for parameterization. The simulation results fit well with both the data used in constructing the model and with a set of independent data. Age structure and cropland area were found to be the most sensitive factors in terms of fuelwood consumption, and thus deserve more attention in panda habitat conservation. This model could help reserve managers to understand the interrelationships among local economy, local cultural traditions, and habitat degradation, facilitating more scientific and economically efficient policymaking.

Type of Publication: Journal Article