11 September 2012

'Priceless or worthless?'

The donor community and conservation movement are leaning increasingly towards a ‘what can nature do for us’ approach, where species and wild habitats are valued and prioritised according to the services they provide for people. This has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet.
While the utilitarian value of nature is important conservation goes beyond this. Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?
-- Professor Jonathan Baillie, ZSL’s Director of Conservation, Priceless or worthless? 100 Most Threatened Species
The book starts by introducing 100 species from 48 different countries that will be the next to go if conservation action is not taken immediately. Twenty-five of the 100 are highlighted to demonstrate the diversity of life that is about to be lost. We introduce the reader to the unique traits and characteristics of each species – essentially the wonder and natural beauty of each creature, plant and fungi. We then highlight examples of species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction such as Przewalski’s horse or the Chatham Island’s black robin, demonstrating that averting extinction is possible.

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