Cooperative Conservation - Determinants of Landowner Engagement in Conserving Endangered Species

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This paper analyzes surveys of private landowners to identify factors that determine landowner engagement in the conservation of endangered species. The Endangered Species Act’s approach to engaging landowners is generally punitive and restricts action on private land that endangered species inhabit. Existing research suggests that the Endangered Species Act’s punitive approach creates perverse incentives that result in poor conservation outcomes. Because engaging private landowners is crucial to the success of preserving species, our research identifies better approaches to encourage private landowners to conserve endangered species. We conduct comparative analysis of relevant papers that examine private landowners’ attitudes toward conservation. Our analysis suggests that landowners are more willing to engage in conservation of endangered species when the approach is less punitive and more cooperative and when the effort comes from more local levels.

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