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What to Preserve? An Application of Diversity Theory to Crane Conservation

Martin L. Weitzman
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 108, No. 1 (Feb., 1993), pp. 157-183
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118499
Page Count: 27
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What to Preserve? An Application of Diversity Theory to Crane Conservation
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Abstract

This paper attempts to demonstrate how "diversity theory" can be applied to the analysis of real-world conservation policies. The specific example chosen to serve as a paradigm concerns preservation priorities among the fifteen species of cranes living wild throughout the world. The example is sufficiently actual to show how diversity theory can be used operationally to frame certain critical conservation questions and to guide us toward answers by providing informative quantitative indicators of what to protect. At the same time the cranes example is rich enough that it illustrates nicely some broad general principles about the economics of diversity preservation.

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