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Valuing local endangered species: The role of intra-species substitutes

  • Biology


Valuation of endangered species is important in many circumstances, and particularly when assessing the impact of large accidental oil spills. Previous studies have tested the effects of including in the contingent valuation survey reminders about the existence of diverse substitutes (in terms of other natural resources also in danger of extinction in the same area, other programs to be valued, or alternative uses of money). We include a reminder about the existence of the same biological species not being under danger of extinction elsewhere. We believe this reminder allows individuals to make an easy assessment of the biological scarcity of the species they are supposed to value. Thus, the key difference with previous studies is that valuation of endangered species is combined with an assessment of preferences towards conservation of local and native species. Our WTP results are not sensitive to the information provided about other foreign substitutes. Implications of this finding are discussed.

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