What is the Price of Conservation? A Review of the Status Quo and Recommendations for Improving Cost Reporting.
White, Thomas B
Petrovan, Silviu O
Christie, Alec P
Martin, Philip A
Sutherland, William J
Oxford University Press (OUP)
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White, T. B., Petrovan, S. O., Christie, A. P., Martin, P. A., & Sutherland, W. J. (2022). What is the Price of Conservation? A Review of the Status Quo and Recommendations for Improving Cost Reporting.. Bioscience https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biac007
Wildlife conservation is severely limited by funding. Therefore, to maximize biodiversity outcomes, assessing financial costs of interventions is as important as assessing effectiveness. We reviewed the reporting of costs in studies testing the effectiveness of conservation interventions: 13.3% of the studies provided numeric costs, and 8.8% reported total costs. Even fewer studies broke down these totals into constituent costs, making it difficult to assess the relevance of costs to different contexts. Cost reporting differed between continents and the taxa or habitats targeted by interventions, with higher cost reporting in parts of the Global South. A further analysis of data focused on mammals identified that interventions related to agriculture, invasive species, transport, and residential development reported costs more frequently. We identify opportunities for conservationists to improve future practice through encouraging systematic reporting and collation of intervention costs, using economic evaluation tools, and increasing understanding and skills in finance and economics.
The David and Claudia Harding Foundation, MAVA, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, and Arcadia provided funding. A.P.C. is funded by a Henslow Research Fellowship with Downing College, Cambridge and the Cambridge Philosophical Society. The work was completed as part of T.B.W’s PhD, funded by the Balfour Studentship, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biac007
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332800
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