This article draws mostly on new institutional economics to consider the likely behaviours of non-government conservation organizations and the implications of these behaviours for biodiversity conservation. It considers how institutional factors may result in behaviour of conservation NGOs diverging from their objectives, including their support for biodiversity conservation; examines aspects of rent capture and conservation alliances; specifies social factors that may restrict the diversity of species supported by NGOs for conservation; considers bounded rationality in relation to the operation of conservation NGOs; and using game theory, shows how competition between NGOs for funding can result in economic inefficiencies and narrow the diversity of species supported for conservation. It also considers generally how the social role of conservation NGOs should be assessed.


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