As the federal government has given control of wolves back over to the states in many parts of the west, some states are returning to the hunting policies that endangered them in the first place. Only a major effort will save these important top-level predators. Please help Defenders of Wildlife save the wolves.
I have spent several years developing a research pro-gram to help us understand how economic incentives affect human behavior in ways that lead to the decline of species. In the wildlife research page, I discuss some of that research, how we go about it, and some of the interesting things we've found. You'll find infor-mation on modeling and learn how the disciplines of economics and ecology can combine to help solve our conservation problems. You can also read some of my research papers if you get really enthused.
This site is devoted to the role of economics in wilderness and wildlife conservation. In the past, research in ecology and conservation biology was seen as the key to saving declining populations of species around the world. However, conservationists are now growing ever more aware that those fields cannot succeed without dealing with the social, economic and cultural problems of people who live in and near wilderness areas. If we want to save wilderness areas and wildlife, we had better start paying attention to the reasons people behave as they do. This web site will show you how economics can help us do that.
"Conservation is a continually evolving business, and we have begun to realize that just wading into Africa and telling the local people that they mustn't do to their wild life what we've done to ours, and that we are there to make sure they don't, is an attitude that, to say the least, needs a little refining."

--Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

Many environmentalists believe the discipline of economics is an enemy to the environment. After all, they argue, isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place? While it's certainly true that continued economic growth and increasing incomes are things we all think we should desire, we pay a price to achieve them. Most of us make choices every day about how we trade off consumption of goods against the environmental impacts that all consumption entails. You don't make those choices be-cause an economist told you to; you do it because it is your natural behavior. That is a key point in the role of economics in any environmental issue. Economics is a study of human behavior; it is not the cause of it.



Australia &
New Zealand

One benefit of working in wildlife conservation is that I get to travel extensively to many of the world's most interesting places. Wildlife photo-graphy is a hobby I pursue while I travel and I'm pleased to be able to share some of my favorite photos with you.

Copyright © 1982-2007 Robert R. Alexander

Last Modified: 1/16/2012