The protection of biodiversity and endangered species
is currently expensive, time- consuming, and to some extent, ineffective.
Studies suggest that market-based
incentives have greater likelihood of ensuring that private landowners will cooperate with
legislation that restricts their development opportunities.
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Prevention is the best strategy for endangered species
management. Early detection of at-risk species provides managers with more options
and greater flexibility in designing and conducting successful recovery programs.
Quick action and flexibility also reduce the need for costly crisis management and its
potential for adversely affecting human activities and disrupting local or regional
economies. Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation (the breaking up of habitat into small,
unconnected pieces) are two of the most significant causes of species extinctions
throughout the world today. As local populations within a species decline in number
and become separated from one another, species becomes more vulnerable to extinction, and
recovery becomes increasingly difficult and costly.
Since prevention is the best cure, the market
incentive systems are likely to achieve more results than after-the-fact measures.