Economic Growth As Limiting Factor For Conservation
This article explores the notion of economic growth as a limiting factor for wildlife conservation, suggesting that additional research and discussion about economic theories and growth among wildlife professionals is necessary to to properly determine how to manage and conserve the natural resources required for the existence of wildlife.
“The concept of limiting factor includes the lack of welfare factors and the presence of decimating factors. Originally applied to populations and species, the concept may also be applied to wildlife in the aggregate. Because the decimating factor of economic growth eliminates welfare factors for virtually all imperiled species via the principle of competitive exclusion, economic growth may be classified as the limiting factor for wildlife conservation. The wildlife profession has been virtually silent about this limiting factor, suggesting that the profession has been laboring in futility. The public, exhorted by neoclassical economists and political leaders, supports economic growth as a rational goal.
To address the limiting factor for wildlife conservation, wildlife professionals need to become versed in the history of economic growth theory, neoclassical economic growth theory, and the alternative growth paradigm provided by ecological economics. The Wildlife Society should lead the natural resources professions in developing a position on economic growth.”