On triage, public values and informed debate

Trade-offs around extinction

At current levels of funding, it is not possible to save all threatened species in Australia from extinction. You might not like that (we definitely don’t) but it is a fact of life. Indeed, to secure all species, the increase in funding might need to be tenfold (see for example McCarthy et al. 2008 in the side bar on p5). Consequently, trade-offs are required. For example, managers could concentrate efforts on the most threatened species, and this is a common approach in many countries. But the price we will pay is that more species will slip onto the threatened species list, and few if any species will be removed from that list.

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