The species prism in a nutshell

1. Species are in trouble

In 2013, the IUCN lists 20,930 species as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. That number was 10,533 back in 1996/98.

2. We don’t spend enough to save species

A recent analysis in the journal Science of what it would cost to reduce the extinction risk of all threatened species came up with a figure of US$4.76 billion each year, an order of magnitude more than current conservation funding.

3. The change in status is one way of comparing investment options

An EDG analysis on bird conservation in Australia demonstrated that an annual budget of $10 million (that’s an average of $37,000 per bird species of conservation concern) can be expected to reduce the number of threatened species in 80 years time by approximately 15% while limiting the number of extinct species to one. It should be noted that this level of spending is approximately three times what is being spent at the moment.

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