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

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  • Tisdell, Clem
  • Swarna Nantha, Hemanath

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tisdell, Clem & Swarna Nantha, Hemanath, 2011. "Comparative costs and conservation of wild species in situ, e.g. orangutans," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2429-2436.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2429-2436
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.07.026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tisdell, Clem, 1990. "Economics and the debate about preservation of species, crop varieties and genetic diversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 77-90, April.
    2. R. Grafton & Tom Kompas & Viktoria Schneider, 2005. "The Bioeconomics of Marine Reserves: A Selected Review with Policy Implications," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 161-178, January.
    3. Clement A. Tisdell, 2005. "Economics of Environmental Conservation, Second Edition," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3272.
    4. Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tisdell, Clem & Preece, Harriet & Abdullah, Sabah & Beyer, Hawthorne, 2015. "Parochial Conservation Practices and the Decline of the Koala - A Draft," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 211234, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. Tisdell, Clement A., 2012. "Biodiversity Conservation: Concepts and Economic Issues with Chinese Examples," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 140863, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    3. Tisdell, Clement A., 2012. "Conserving Forest Wildlife and Other Ecosystem Services: Opportunity Costs and The Valuation of Alternative Logging Regimes," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 126230, University of Queensland, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative costs; Conservation in situ; Environmental policy; Minimum viable populations; Opportunity costs; Orangutan (Pongo spp.);

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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