Comparative costs and conservation of wild species in situ, e.g. orangutans

Tisdell, Clem and Nantha, Hemanath Swarna (2011) Comparative costs and conservation of wild species in situ, e.g. orangutans. Ecological Economics, 70 12: 2429-2436. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.07.026

Author Tisdell, Clem
Nantha, Hemanath Swarna
Title Comparative costs and conservation of wild species in situ, e.g. orangutans
Formatted title
Comparative costs and conservation of wild species in situ, e.g. orangutans
Journal name Ecological Economics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0921-8009
Publication date 2011-10-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.07.026
Volume 70
Issue 12
Start page 2429
End page 2436
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The extent to which conservation is feasible is constrained by budgets and the financial sacrifice stakeholders are willing to bear. Therefore a possible objective for conserving a species is to minimise the cost of achieving that stated aim. For example, if a minimum viable population (MVP) of a species is to be conserved, the size and type of habitats reserved for this could be selected to minimise cost. This requires consideration of the comparative (relative) opportunity costs of reserving different land types for conservation. A general model is developed to demonstrate this and is applied to the case of the orangutan. In the ecological literature, recommendations for reserving different types of land for conservation have been based on comparisons of either the absolute economic returns they generate if converted to commercial use or on differences in the density of a species they support. These approaches are shown to be deficient because they ignore relative trade-offs between species population and economic conversion gains at alternative sites. The proposed model is illustrated for orangutan conservation.

Highlights: ► Combines economics and ecology to determine best land use for species conservation. ► Relative opportunity costs at alternative sites are critical for this optimising. ► Absolute values at alternative sites are irrelevant for this optimisation. ► The analysis is applied to land-use decisions for orangutan conservation. ► The model developed is practical and can be applied with limited data.
Keyword Comparative costs
Conservation in situ
Environmental policy
Minimum viable populations
Opportunity costs
Orangutan (Pongo spp.)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Economics Publications
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