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  운영자 2006-05-23 10:35:53 | Hit : 27556 | Vote : 8793
Subject   [자료] Conservation: Dollars and sense
News Feature
Nature 437, 614-616 (29 September 2005) | doi:10.1038/437614a

Conservation: Dollars and sense
ucy Odling-Smee1

Lucy Odling-Smee is a subeditor for Nature.

Top of pageAbstractApproaches to conservation that seek to protect the most endangered species have had only mixed success. Is it time to move away from biodiversity 'hotspots', and stress the economic value of ecosystems? Lucy Odling-Smee investigates.

The Florida panther is living on the edge. Once, these majestic cats prowled throughout the southeastern United States. But today, fewer than 90 of the creatures cling to fragments of habitat in southern Florida. And not everyone agrees that efforts to save this subspecies make economic or scientific sense.

Male Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) stalk hunting grounds that average 550 square kilometres. Given the exorbitant cost of land in the Sunshine State, protecting sufficient habitat to support a population viable over the long term is a tall order. And although some argue that protecting the panther will rescue other threatened animals and plants along the way, this remains little more than an article of faith. Even the panther's evolutionary heritage has been called into question: genetic studies suggest that it is not as distinct from other subspecies of mountain lion as was once thought1.

Attempts to save the Florida panther epitomize an approach to conservation that is increasingly coming under fire. A new, hard-headed breed of conservationists say we should not concentrate exclusively on saving the rare and endangered or on protecting species diversity. Instead, they say, decisions need to be made within a rigorous economic framework. Some argue that the key to effective conservation is quantifying and promoting the economic 'services' that ecosystems provide for people — a mantra that has gained momentum with the completion this year of the most comprehensive survey yet of these benefits, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment2.

At the same time, conservationists are being urged to develop better tools to measure the effectiveness of their projects, and to share data on best practice. In other words, say critics, it's time for the organizations involved in conservation to admit that they are fallible, and to learn from past mistakes (see 'Taking quackery out of conservation').

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