IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Approaches to Conserving Vulnerable Wildlife in China: Does the Colour of Cat Matter - if it Catches Mice?

Listed author(s):
  • Richard B. Harris
Registered author(s):

    China's environmental problems are well known, but recently its record in the area of wildlife conservation, particularly with regard to endangered species, has come under scrutiny. Environmental values colour how we in the West view both China's past experience with wildlife and what strategies it should adopt to foster better conservation. Chinese have long taken a utilitarian view of wildlife, valuing species primarily as resources for man's use and only secondarily for other reasons. However, China has not developed institutions capable of sustaining the desired use of wildlife in the face of ever-growing demands. I suggest that Western criticisms of Chinese utilitarian attitudes are inappropriate, ineffective, and possibly counter-productive: deep-seated cultural mores change slowly. Instead, Westerners concerned with the fate of China's wildlife should assist the development of systems that act to channel demand for wildlife's material benefits toward investment in conservation. Such systems will likely require devolution of considerable control to local levels, strengthening incentives to favour long- over short-term benefits, and - notwithstanding common Western attitudes - substantial consumptive use of wildlife.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: downloads of articles require payment or registration of paid subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 303-334

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev5:ev515
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev5:ev515. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrew Johnson)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.