05.01.07

Endangered Species and Property Rights: Wollemi Pine

Posted in Conservation at 1:12 pm by justakim

Some conservationists are trying out a new scheme of selling trees to save them. The wollemi pine was thought to have gone extinct two million years ago, until it was discovered in Australia in 1994.

In order to save these <100 individuals in the wild, conservationists are selling cuttings of the trees to increase their numbers and to discourage poaching. It is already very difficult to reach these trees. You can see them spelunking into the canyon in the video. The remote location, its enclosure in a protected national park, and open legal availability, remove incentives to poach these trees, and the widespread distribution to tree-property owners will insulate it against being wiped out if something were to happen in the only place it is known to exist in the wild. National Geographic is selling these trees for $99 plus $5 shipping, with part of the proceeds going to conservation research. I have my eye on this for the first Christmas tree in my first house.

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