- Conservation money is limited. Conservation effort is also limited.
- There are many species in need of conservation.
- The number of species in need of conservation is likely to grow.
- Some species are harder to conserve than others.
Some species are challenging to conserve for space issues - try keeping a Grey Whale in captivity for captive breeding! Others are difficult for husbandry issues, like the Shanghai soft-shell turtle where the only male in China once attacked a female instead of mating. And ask the Black Footed Ferrets what re-discovery did to their numbers - I once heard a colleague describe the worst thing that happened to the Black Footed Ferret as being "Scientists discovered they weren't extinct yet."
The idea that we should maximize our bang-for-our-buck in conservation is a very unpopular one, though one that more scientists are coming around to. Recently, this argument poked its head up in the main stream media when a prominent scientist advocated just letting the Giant Panda go extinct. MSNBC downplays his comments through a rebuttal from another scientist - and would have thought the WWF, an organization that uses a Giant Panda as their logo, would oppose it?