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New Zealand has over 500 offshore islands. Many consist of relatively pristine wilderness and contain a disproportionately large amount of New Zealand's biological wealth. Increased demand for recreation has increased the pressure to develop these areas. Although the New Zealand public has shown widespread support for the preservation and safeguarding of both wilderness areas and endangered species, economic values attached to the benefits of preservation are not known. Using a telephone survey, we found evidence that the public attaches significant value to the conservation of Little Barrier Island. The results show that these values are influenced by different levels and sources of prior information.
Conservation Biology © 1996 Wiley