Atlas Nexus Podcast: Brian Yablonski on Free Market Environmentalism and Endangered Species

Endangered Canada Lynx. Photo courtesy of Eric Kilby.

PERC CEO Brian Yablonski joins the Atlas Nexus Podcast to discuss PERC’s work on improving endangered species conservation and recovery.

While the Endangered Species Act has helped prevent 99% of listed species from going extinct, only 2% of those species have ever recovered their populations to warrant no longer being listed. This is in large part due to the fact that private landowners are punished, not rewarded, for finding rare species on their land. With 80% of endangered species relying on private lands for habitat, the private landowner must be seen as an ally rather than an enemy in the fight to recover imperiled species. As Brian notes in the interview, “If you find a rare metal on your land, the value of your property goes up. But find a rare bird species on your land, the value of your property plummets.” PERC research imagined a different way, where incentives could turn imperiled species from liabilities into assets for the private landowners who they depend on.

In the interview, they discuss PERC’s “Recovering Endangered Species” project which focuses on enhancing outcomes for endangered species through market-based incentive structures that leverage both private and public conservation efforts. This work earned PERC a spot as a finalist for the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award presented by the Atlas Network.


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