Chapter 6: The social net economic benefit of conserving an endangered marsupial glider: economic and ecological considerations
The rare mahogany glider (Petaurus gracilis) is one of Australia’s most threatened mammals and is classified as endangered (Jackson, 2008; Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, 2012; see also Burnett et al., 2008). It is confined to a small geographic range in the Wet Tropics bioregion of Queensland. Land clearing for agriculture has been the primary threat to its survival, with planting of exotic pines being a secondary threat. No major specific protected area has been set aside within the mahogany glider’s present range to increase the likelihood of the species’ survival. Although restricting vegetation clearing on freehold and leasehold land in Queensland could help to preserve the glider’s habitat, this may not be a secure approach for managing the conservation of the mahogany glider. In fact, the present Queensland Government (2013) intends to relax restrictions on vegetation clearing. The mahogany glider is a species that has little or no economic use value. Prospects for using it for tourist purposes in its area of natural habitat may be limited because it is nocturnal, relatively small in size and difficult to locate. Minor use of it for tourism is possible alongside other attractions, such as in Jourama Falls at Paluma Range National Park, Queensland (see, for example, Tisdell and Wilson, 2012, Chapter 7).
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