An Initial Assessment of Policies for Saving a Rare Australian Glider: Experimental Results, Economics and Ecology Tisdell, Clem; Wilson, Clevo; Swarna Nantha, Hemanath

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Tisdell, Clem ; Wilson, Clevo ; Swarna Nantha, Hemanath
conservation policies; petaurus gracilis; social cost-benefit analysis
Reviews the ecological status of the mahogany glider and describes its distribution, habitat and abundance, life history and threats to it. Three serial surveys of Brisbane residents provide data on the knowledge of respondents about the mahogany glider. The results provide information about the attitudes of respondents to the mahogany glider, to its conservation and relevant public policies and about variations in these factors as the knowledge of participants of the mahogany glider alters. Similarly data is provided and analysed about the willingness to pay of respondents to conserve the mahogany glider. Population viability analysis is applied to estimate the required habitat area for a minimum viable population of the mahogany glider to ensure at least a 95% probability of its survival for 100 years. Places are identified in Queensland where the requisite minimum area of critical habitat can be conserved. Using the survey results as a basis, the likely willingness of groups of Australians to pay for the conservation of the mahogany glider is estimated and consequently their willingness to pay for the minimum required area of its habitat. Methods for estimating the cost of protecting this habitat are outlined. Australia-wide benefits seem to exceed the costs. Establishing a national park containing the minimum viable population of the mahogany glider is an appealing management option. This would also be beneficial in conserving other endangered wildlife species. Therefore, additional economic benefits to those estimated on account of the mahogany glider itself can be obtained.
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