A Real Options Approach to Forest-Management Decision Making to Protect Caribou under the Threat of Extinction
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. G. Morgan; A. S. Ben; P. Lasserre
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • Alces alces
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • Canis lupus
  • caribou
  • decision support
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire size
  • forest management
  • forest planning
  • Labrador
  • Labrador
  • mammals
  • Picea mariana
  • population density
  • Populus balsamifera
  • Populus tremuloides
  • Quebec
  • Rangifer tarandus
  • real options
  • statistical analysis
  • Ursus americanus
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
  • wildlife management
  • wildlife management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 47326
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23249
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Uncertainty is a dominant feature of decision making in forestry and wildlife management. Aggravating this challenge is the irreversibility of some decisions, resulting in the loss of economic opportunities or the extirpation of wildlife populations. We adapted the real options approach from economic theory to develop a methodology to evaluate a resource management decision to stop timber harvesting when a woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) population becomes threatened with extinction. In our study area of central Labrador, Canada, both caribou and timber harvesting are valued ecosystem services. By using a decision rule, which incorporates future developments, the real options approach provides a technique to incorporate ecological and social uncertainty into forest-management decision making. As a result, it reduces the risk of a forest manager making a decision with unwanted irreversible consequences or failing to make a decision that could avoid such unwanted consequences. © 2008 by the authors. Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.

Online Link(s):
Morgan, D. G., A. S. Ben, and P. Lasserre. 2008. A Real Options Approach to Forest-Management Decision Making to Protect Caribou under the Threat of Extinction. Ecology and Society, v. 13, no. 1, p. 27-18.