Half of budgets for species conservation used for monitoring, not protecting

Governments earmark a lot of funds for species conservation but major shares of these funds are used for research and monitoring rather than action. This would not serve the purpose of protecting the endangered species, according to a new study.

The study was done by researchers from Carleton University and Environment and Climate Change Canada. They looked into recovery plans for more than 2,000 endangered species across Australia, United States, New South Wales and New Zealand. The researchers noted that half of species recovery budgets were allocated to research and monitoring and not on action. The researchers felt that more of these funds should have gone to direct action. Nature Communications published the study.

Lead author Rachel Buxton of Carleton was quoted as saying that fast action was needed to save endangered species from extinction. The lesser budget for action is a wakeup call for everyone, Buxton added.

Pointing out that robust research and monitoring was also needed, Buxton said that the focus of gathering information should be to support action.

The researchers said that most of the agencies involved in the conservation of endangered species work in limited budgets. They said that these agencies are also hesitant to act when they think of uncertain outcomes. In this case, data collection becomes a motivation, the researchers said. They also noted that new scientific information was necessary to design and implement useful conservation actions. But when the funds are exclusively on research and monitoring, then action for conservation of endangered species are reduced.

Author Joseph Bennett said that they loved to collect data as scientists but protection of the species is more important. He pointed out that the data collected should be wisely used for action.

Noting that species were lost faster than ever, Buxton said that action was needed rather than data only. Noting that efforts to save threatened species were failing, Buxton called for support from public and bold approaches to protect endangered wildlife.



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