Is conservation broken?
Consider, the top five U.S. conservation groups — The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund-US, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Conservation Fund — collectively spend more than one billion US dollars a year on saving endangered species and threatened landscapes around the globe, so why then do we have more species and habitat on the brink of extinction than when these groups were born roughly 50 years ago?
In that half-century great ape population numbers have plummeted by over 70%; a quarter of all mammals tight rope the eternal abyss.
The common refrain is look how much worse it would be without out us — but would it? Prove that. Has our blind belief in the myth that “they” were fixing the extinction problem caused us to not question if they are even on the right path?
The irony is, with billions in assets and revenues, the survival of these large conservation corporations is guaranteed, while the species and habitat they claim to protect are slipping towards extinction.
So, is conservation broken? Or are they consumed by solving the wrong problem, their own survival?
2015-2016 Global research and reporting on great apes made possible in part through the generous financial support of the Philadelphia Zoo