Friday, April 25, 2008

Anthropogenic Allee Effect

Standard economic theory predicts that exploitation alone is unlikely to result in species extinction because of the escalating costs of finding the last individuals of a declining species. We argue that the human predisposition to place exaggerated value on rarity fuels disproportionate exploitation of rare species, rendering them even rarer and thus more desirable, ultimately leading them into an extinction vortex.

Here is the link to the Courchamp et al. paper I mentioned in class. There is also a synopsis of the paper written for a more general audience. There's another commentary on the paper in Nature and one in Scientific American.

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