A new book has been released at the 2012 World Conservation Congress – “Priceless or Worthless”. The book identifies 100 of the most threatened species and broaches the difficult topic of valuing nature. Are people willing to put huge amounts of time, effort and money into saving species with little or no direct monetary value to them or humanity as a whole?
Prof Jonathan Baillie in statement asks: "We have an important moral and ethical decision to make: do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?"
More than 8,000 experts from countries across the world are part of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and have nominated each of the 100 species in the book in order to highlight the need for urgent conservation action. Of course there are many, many other species that are highly threatened and not listed in this book. Priceless or Worthless is aimed at highlighting the need for cohesive action across the world to save these 100 species and many others regardless of their contribution to the economy, jobs or security.
The book identifies species from the Rio pescado stubfoot toad (Atelopus balios), the Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis) to the perhaps better known Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus). It also highlights some species which have been brought back from the brink of extinction by conservation efforts, including the Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferrus przewalski), once down to as little as 13 individuals and now numbering over 300; the black robin (Petroica traversi) and the Rodrigues fody (Foudia flavicans), once the most endangered bird in the world and now slowly increasing with more than 200 mature individuals. This demonstrates that species can be saved and gives hope for the thousands of species in need of assistance for survival.
We welcome a move away from the commodification of nature and towards greater recognition of the intrinsic value of species and biodiversity.
For a list of the top 100 threatened species click here!
For a recent press release follow this link.
Listen to Prof Jonathan Baillie's speech.
Read the Wild About article "Priceless or worthless? Is it possible to put a value on the world’s wildlife? And if it is, asks Jonathan Baillie, what ethical dilemmas are we opening for ourselves?"