AWS believes that long-term wildlife conservation requires large populations widely distributed in a range of landscapes. However many locations important to wildlife are fragmented due to impact of human development, especially primary production. For wildlife to survive it must be able to counter these pressures, land holders, especially farmers, need incentives to conserve habitat and manage species sustainably. We cannot rely on their altruism alone.
Government intervention and regulation to protect wildlife is also insufficient; National Parks and reserves do not sample the high value more productive landscapes.
Increasing the value and the numbers of wildlife through sustainable wildlife enterprises is the process favoured by Australian Wildlife Services to address these issues and on which the company is focused.
Value can based on a number of sources including:
- Ecotourism – tourist fees for wildlife spotting, accommodation
- Bush tucker sales of meat and skins, plant products and medicines
- Seeds, Live Plants & Animals – sales for conservation restocking
- Ecosystem Services – community payments for provision of clean water, carbon credits, biodiversity
The role of landholders needs to be recognised by the market place for doing the right thing. These concepts on the role of the private sector were contained in the paper published in the international journal Conservation Letters in 2016