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Abstract

Examines empirically the relative influence of the degree of endangerment of wildlife species and their stated likeability on individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for their conservation. To do this, it utilises data obtained from the IUCN Red List and likeability and WTP data obtained from two serial surveys of a sample of the Australian public who were requested to assess 24 Australian wildlife species in each of three animal classes: mammals, birds and reptiles. Between the first and second survey, respondents were provided with extra information about the focal species. This information resulted in the clear dominance of endangerment as the major influence on the WTP of respondents for the conservation of the focal wildlife species. Our results throw doubts on the proposition in the literature that the likeability of species is the dominant influence on WTP for conservation of wildlife species. Furthermore, our results suggest that the relationship between WTP for the conservation of wildlife in relation to their population levels may be more complex and different to that suggested in some of the literature on ecological economics.

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