Rent-a-Roo?

ENVIRONMENT

A proposed new policy in Australia would allow wildlife to be leased to private landowners in bid to save threatened species. (Australian Geographic)

Is selling or leasing wildlife part of the conservation strategy of any other countries?

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit, including today’s thought-provoking polls.

These two Venn diagrams outline the aims of the proposed policy. Images by KiWilson, G. R., Hayward, M. W. and Wilson, C. (2016), Market-Based Incentives and Private Ownership of Wildlife to Remedy Shortfalls in Government Funding for Conservation. CONSERVATION LETTERS. doi:10.1111/conl.12313

Click to enlarge! These two Venn diagrams outline the aims of the proposed policy.
Images by KiWilson, G. R., Hayward, M. W. and Wilson, C. (2016), Market-Based Incentives and Private Ownership of Wildlife to Remedy Shortfalls in Government Funding for Conservation. CONSERVATION LETTERS. doi:10.1111/conl.12313

Discussion Ideas

  • A proposed new policy in Australia suggests a system of “leasing” populations of Australia’s indigenous species to private landowners. What are some examples of Australia’s dazzling indigenous species?
    • Get ready for your glamor shots, Aussies! Here is a fantastic photo album from Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark. For goodness sake, click to enlarge!!

 

  • How is wildlife currently managed in Australia?

 

  • How would the proposed law work?

 

  • How do supporters say the proposed policy would help conservation efforts?
    • Private, fenced-in land would offer animals increased protection from predators.
    • Captive breeding has generally proven to be a successful strategy for preserving species.
    • A wildlife market would provide landowners an economic incentive to conserve habitat.
    • Less regulation and money from government programs could allow the government to focus conservation efforts on other strategies.

 

  • Why do some conservationists oppose the proposed policy?
    • The policy would likely prioritize charismatic and cute animals. “The idea of putting endangered species into sort of a market trade dynamic is, on the whole, a little bit frightening,” says one conservation biologist. “What happens when the market for an endangered species tanks for whatever reason? And we don’t have a market incentive to save it anymore?”
    • Some conservationists are skeptical about the treatment animals may receive in private habitats or breeding facilities.
    • Some conservationists fear the new policy will restrict what is now national heritage into the hands of a wealthy elite.
    • Some conservationists worry the policy may increase the market and opportunity for unregulated game reserves.

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Australian Geographic: Wildlife to be leased to private land owners in bid to save threatened species

Nat Geo: Drought Forces Zimbabwe to Sell Animals

Nat Geo: Photo Ark

(extra credit!) Conservation Letters: Market-Based Incentives and Private Ownership of Wildlife to Remedy Shortfalls in Government Funding for Conservation

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