Moral Dilemma: Is Saving Endangered Species Worth the $50bn Price Tag

In the age of unprecedented environmental challenges and endangered species, there is a lot left to debate when it comes to the allocation of resources and finances. One pressing conversation is whether or not we should be pouring a significant amount of limited resources and money into saving endangered species; one wonders if there is a point in trying to save them.

With the current climate battles, we are seeing heaps of species and wildlife teeters towards the brink of extension and many argue that the price tag to protect them all is simply not worth it. On the other hand, we should understand how significant the consequence of not saving these endangered species are and how important saving them would be

The Snow Leopard: An estimated 5,000 are left in the world

Why We Shouldn’t Pour Money Into Saving Endangered Species:

There are many critics that believe in reducing the funding of endangered species seeing as it is already a “losing battle”. These critics believe that the efforts, finances and resources can be reutilized of to address more human-centric issues that have a specified and numeric goal such as poverty, disease and social issues that have a resolution.

Critics suggest that channeling funds towards saving species, while noble, might be a luxury that societies cannot afford when faced with immediate human suffering.

An Indian tiger in the wild. There are only 4,000 left

Why We Should Pour Money Into Saving Endangered Species

As people, it is arguably in our human nature to care, and it has been scientifically proven that we may be compelled to be compassionate. Supporters of increased funding focus on our ethical responsibility we have towards our planet and its inhabitants.

It is considered by many that due to our emotional intelligence and our fault in these environmental challenges that we must fill our capacity to preserve these species is a testament to our ability to coexist harmoniously with the natural world.

The Beloved (Kung Fu) Panda, with an estimated population of 1,864

It is said that the threat of extinction is 1000- 10,000 times more likely due to human intervention and fault, which puts our moral responsibility on the line to reverse the damages we have created as a race.

Additionally, the extinction of different species is estimated to have an irreversible negative effect on the ecosystem and The disappearance of a single species can set off a chain reaction, disrupting the intricate web of interactions that sustains life as we know it.

For instance, predators keep herbivore populations in check, preventing overgrazing and maintaining the stability of plant communities. Without these checks and balances, ecosystems can unravel, potentially leading to unforeseen consequences for human populations that rely on these ecosystems for resources and services.

There are about 14,000 Sumatran Orangutans left and less than 800 Tapanuli Orangutans left.

How Much Does It Cost to Save Endangered Species?

While there isn’t a definite amount, the general estimate is about $4.76bn a year to reduce the risk of extinction with a further $47.4bn to establish and manage protected areas and habitats. Basically, we are looking at going over 50 billion dollars every year.

The question of whether we should be investing substantial financial resources into saving endangered species presents a complex moral and practical quandary. Both sides of the argument bring valid points to the table, and the answer likely lies in a nuanced approach that recognizes the value of biodiversity while addressing immediate human needs.

The Eastern Gorilla with an estimated population of 5,000 are believed to go extinct this decade

As societies grapple with these competing priorities, it becomes clear that the fate of endangered species is not merely a matter of financial investment, but a reflection of our collective commitment to preserving the beauty, complexity, and resilience of our planet.

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