As I was driving along this morning I was listening to Broadcasting House on Radio 4, I didn't catch all of the programme. Chris Packham was on, there was a piece about how conservation is overly targetted on fluffy good looking species. Now I missed this but in the trailer Packham said that the money spent on Giant Panda conservation was a waste and he would have rather ate the last Panda and spent the money more wisely.
Its an interesting argument. The Red Squirrel lobby gains lots of very vocal support, being cute does help but it could be argued that we are fighting a losing battle and that the money could be spent more wisely.
I suppose for conservationists it's easier to get money for glamour projects than for bugs and things.
I have to say conservation hot topics like Red Squirrels and White-Headed Ducks are difficult ones. Bodies like the WWT and RSPB backing the shooting of Ruddy Ducks doesn't really sit well with me. And the demonisation of the Grey Squirrel seems daft, at one point last century we were culling Reds!!I really don't see how we can eliminate the Grey, I wish they had never been introduced but they have, shooting will never work. The introduction of a sterilisation drug has been muted, I wonder though if it will work. Oh and will the cost be worth it. Could the money be better spent on less glamorous projects.
Oh and may I at this point urge you to join your local Wildlife Trust unlike the more well known wildlife bodies they concentrate on local projects and do some fine work on a small scale.