The value of a species: the whooping crane conservation paradox

The endangered whooping crane is one of the world’s rarest species, with only around 600 individuals, including one wild self-sustaining population (French et al., 2018). Reintroduced populations have had limited success, largely due to low hatching success. One multi-year study demonstrates the role that some endemic species of black flies play in Whooping crane nest desertion. This work also illustrates how conservation approaches should evaluate trade-offs and utilize a decision-analysis framework to construct management strategies that incorporate the needs of all endemic species, rather than pining the value of one species above the other.

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