Regional Sustainability ›› 2021, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (2): 144-155.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.05.001

• Review Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sustainable use of wildlife resources in Central Asia

David BLANKa, Yaoming LIa,b,c,*()   

  1. aResearch Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia, Bishkek, 720040, Kyrgyzstan
    bState Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China
    cUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • Received:2020-10-12 Revised:2021-02-22 Accepted:2021-05-16 Online:2021-04-20 Published:2021-08-13
  • Contact: Yaoming LI


Initially, hunting was the primary means for getting food for the survival of ancient people. As time passed, people started to breed livestock and develop agriculture, gradually reducing their reliance on unpredictability of hunting. People, however, continued to hunt and, even though their survival did not depend on hunting. During the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) period, attitudes toward the use of natural resources fluctuated significantly, and after the establishment of new reserves for wildlife protection, the government soon weakened protections it had introduced. In the current, the organizations in dependent countries of the USSR that are chartered to protect areas with wildlife diversity are very weak and have no sufficient material resources to provide any real control of poaching, especially when hunting weapons and ammunition are easily available. Trophy hunting companies exploit wildlife resources but do not make protecting wildlife from poaching as a priority in their work; they just use whatever resources are available as if they are unlimited. To help solve this problem, we suggest to organize the local people to join the wildlife protection societies and give them official rights to benefit from the development of hunting tourism in the future. There are numerous examples of successful and very profitable hunting businesses in different countries in the world. In Central Asia, all the prerequisites exist for organizing highly effective trophy hunting tourism, maintaining the richness of biodiversity, and at the same time providing a sustainable and significant income for local communities as the country as a whole. The sustainable use of wildlife resources is a very tangible challenge in the countries of Central Asia, and the most important consideration is to establish and enforce hunting laws equally, irrespective of a person’s social status or financial assets, otherwise no laws will work.

Key words: Hunting, Poaching, Sustainable use, Ungulates, Wildlife resources, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan