Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Saving Endangered Species Privately

A Case Study of Earth Sanctuaries, Ltd.

Michael De Alessi
August 1, 2003

Executive Summary

Australia has one of the worst records of mammalian extinction in the world, in large part because so many of its species evolved in isolation and were not well-equipped to deal with the introduced species that came with European settlement. In recent years, however, a focus on feral eradication and on protection of native species in feral-proof enclosures or sanctuaries has started to reverse this trend.

Earth Sanctuaries, Ltd., a private company in Australia, has been at the forefront of this type of protection. It has played a significant role in the recovery of many species. This study explains the history of Earth Sanctuaries, particularly the successes and challenges it has faced in trying to save species through commercialization. Following recent financial difficulties, the company is now a leaner, more focused operation. And Australia’s wildlife is all the better for it.

Michael De Alessi is Fellow

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