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A Cultural Conscience for Conservation

By Caroline Good, Dawn Burnham, David W Macdonald

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

On 2 July 2015, the killing of a lion nicknamed “Cecil” prompted the largest global reaction in the history of wildlife conservation. In response to this, it is propitious to consider the ways in which this moment can be developed into a financial movement to transform the conservation of species such as the lion that hold cultural significance and sentiment but whose numbers in the wild are dwindling dangerously. This provocative piece explores how a species royalty could be used effectively by drawing revenue from the heavy symbolic use of charismatic animals in affluent economies. This would, in turn, reduce strain on limited government funds in threatened animals’ native homelands. Three potential areas of lucrative animal symbolism—fashion, sports mascots, and national animals—provide examples of the kind of revenue that could be created from a species royalty. These examples also demonstrate how this royalty could prove to be a desirable means by which both corporations and consumers could positively develop their desired selves while simultaneously contributing to a relevant and urgent cause. These examples intend to ignite a multi-disciplinary conversation on the global cultural economy’s use of endangered species symbols. An overhaul in perspective and practice is needed because time is running out for much of the wildlife and their ecosystems that embellish products and embody anthropocentric business identities.

Submitter

Spencer CW Au

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 7
Pages 7
Publisher MDPI AG
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani7070052
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/7/7/52
Language English
Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Fashion Animals
  4. Heritage
  5. Italy
  6. National Animals
  7. Nature
  8. Physical environment
  9. research funding
  10. Species Royalty
  11. Sports Mascots
  12. Wild animals
  13. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation