Conservation can’t just be a popularity contest

View of the printed magazine showing the article's front pageASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber was featured in this year’s Earth Day issue of National Geographic in a story titled “The Conservation Popularity Contest: Wildlife funding and advocacy focuses heavily on protecting charismatic species. Is it time to rethink that approach?” In this article, Gerber warns against making uninformed decisions in conservation that can lead to tremendous misuse of funds for species protection efforts, putting even more species at risk. Gerber and other conservationists, such as Hugh Possingham, have developed analytic tools to facilitate cost-effective decision-making. An example of such tools is the Endangered Species Recovery Explorer, created in partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center to assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in comparing different funding allocation strategies for actions to recover endangered species. Access the article.