Can Jaguar Conservation be Profitable?

Probably Better than the Alternative by Judd Hall. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Here’s a fascinating article by Amy Matthews Amos – writing for The Revelator – about a unique approach to jaguar conservation.

When one thinks of wildlife conservation, it’s tempting to think of non-profit organizations and government agencies. After all, that’s who does much of the front-lines conservation work. Biologist Ron Pulliam is trying something different: a for-profit company.

Through his company Wildlife Corridors LLC, Pulliam and his colleagues are preserving land within a vital wildlife corridor near the United States-Mexico border.

This stretch of land in the American Southwest is a crucial travel route for jaguars moving between Mexico and the U.S., as well as habitat for many other species. Unfortunately, its integrity is threatened by – among other things – the possibility of housing developments.

Wildlife Corridors and their larger conglomerate – Borderlands Restoration L3C – are attempting to counter this threat by creating a “restoration economy.” Essentially, they’re trying to make wildlife conservation as economically viable as extractive industries like mining.

Through ventures like ecotourism and acquiring grants, Borderlands Restoration is hoping to create jobs while simultaneously protecting key habitats in the Southwest. Pulliam also stresses the value of getting local people directly involved in conservation, rather than blocking them out through “fortress conservation” approaches.

Of course, this has been a brief summary of Amy Matthews Amos’ excellent article. Please see The Revelator for more!

6 Thoughts

  1. I think for-profit environmental organizations are just as good as the non-profit ones. Everyone’s got to make a living somehow, and if you use some of your profits to better the environment then that’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve actually been thinking that we need to get away from the non-profit model a little bit, or at least try different approaches. The trick, though, will be staying focused on the main goal – conservation – and not becoming too obsessed with turning a profit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Josh, what an interesting article. I also feel – conservation does not have be the sole territory of one type of person or organization. Therefore it’s great to see articles like these. And, everyone does have to make a living too :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Takami! As I told Jess, I like the idea of for-profit conservation orgs. Assuming the businesses do well, then for-profit conservation orgs might be able to pay their employees better than the countless non-profit ones…which often expect their people to work for little to no pay. We need to start valuing our workers properly, since any business is only as good as it treats its employees.

      As I told Jess though, the trick with for-profit conservation orgs will be staying focused on the true goal of conservation. Profit is a means to an end, and shouldn’t be the primary pursuit.

      Liked by 1 person

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