With limited recovery dollars, transparency is key

Species such as the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) have benefited from federal recovery efforts. Researchers recently found transparency and cost-effectiveness are the most important factors in allocating conservation and recovery funding. ©Ryan Moehring/USFWS

While initiatives like the Endangered Species Act help, researchers say there’s not enough funding to recover all listed species. That leaves federal agencies with difficult decisions. Researchers set out to identify the best way to allocate limited resources when it comes to recovering species listed on the ESA. The authors suggest a structured, logical, transparent approach. Their framework helps identify which objectives are the most important and how to spend funds to maximize benefits for the most species under a limited budget. The authors stress that transparent and cost-effective spending is important within funding agencies and conservation partners and will result in better success. These strategies have been successful already outside of the U.S., they said.

Read the study in Science.