Today is Endangered Species Day 2015 (image from FWS webpage)! Endangered species conservation is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve written posts about how the Endangered Species Act works, misconceptions about endangered species, the cost of saving endangered species, the 100 most endangered species, and even endangered species in the DMZ! (search “endangered species” to find posts on numerous endangered animals and plants)
Now there’s a recent article published in Conservation magazine that reports that 841 endangered species could be conserved at a cost of $1.34 billion dollars per year. This figure includes maintaining populations both in the wild and at zoos. The figure seems high until you consider the following -- the article states,
Here’s the shocker: the total annual cost for “effectively managing” all AZE vertebrates according to their analysis – 841 species – is just $1.18 billion dollars. To effectively manage all species in zoos would cost an extra $160 million annually, for a total of $1.34 billion. “Such investment for protecting high-biodiversity value sites and threatened species within them is trivial when compared to what governments spend globally each year on other sectors,” the researchers say. The United States alone budgeted approximately $3.5 trillion in 2014, for example.
Something to think about on Endangered Species Day!
Article source: Dalia A. Conde. Fernando Colchero, Burak Güneralp, Markus Gusset, Ben Skolnik, Michael Parr, Onnie Byers, Kevin Johnson, Glyn Young, Nate Flesness, Hugh Possingham, and John E. Fa. (2015). Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions, Current Biology, 25 (6) R219-R221. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.01.048.