Spending to save: what’s the best use of our conservation dollar?

Research done in South Africa can guide Australian conservation managers on where to focus effort. Brian van Wilgen

It’s true: many species will go extinct due to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change.

We will have to make some hard decisions about where to invest conservation dollars for the best effect. So, how do we minimise the number of species we will lose?

Extinctions are on the up and climate change will make it worse

Climate change will exacerbate the many existing threats to species, including habitat loss, over exploitation and invasive species.

This is not news to ecologists. Dire predictions about climate change’s impacts on species and ecosystems are easy to find in the scientific literature and the popular media.

But what are we going to do about it?

We have limited control over global warming, we have little money with which to protect species and we have many possible courses of action, only a portion of which can we afford to try.

Fynbos natives. RobW/Flickr