Wildlife conservation and wildlife exploitation both hinge on perceptions of value. We protect what we value, and this value also drives demand. So how can wildlife conservation efforts be made more inclusive of the threats facing under-valued or less-charismatic species? And how can we expand a high-level focus on preventing the extinction of over one million species, to also recognise and prevent the harms that are committed towards over a billion individual exploited wildlife?
In this video, Dr Alison Hutchinson introduces how concepts of wildlife ‘charisma’ play into conservation responses, and how a narrow view of the value of wildlife can miss those species most vulnerable to exploitation.
Our policy brief on ‘Wildlife we love to harm’ delves deeper into the relationships between charisma, value, and harm in conservation and policy decision-making. For a more socially and environmentally just future, biodiversity conservation responses need to expand in focus, to recognise the diverse values and traditional knowledge surrounding all wildlife, so that none are overshadowed by the economic value of a select popular few.