A new federally approved strategy for conservation of biodiversity was approved last week; proponents state it will revolutionize the way scientific research is conducted for endangered and rare species. "The great thing about this approach," said proponent Bill Melayter, "is it gives researchers a chance to increase public awareness for their species of interest, raise funds for their research, AND allows them the opportunity to learn venture capitalism and actually profit off increasing species abundance and distribution..it's really a win win win.”
Branding Wildlife for Profit (& Research)
The strategy permits individuals and corporations to sponsor rare or endangered species in return they get high profile marketing opportunities associated with ecotourism. Details are still being fleshed out, but marketing currently includes, but is not restricted to, stickers, banners, and even large laser-light displays which can be deployed only in the critical habitat areas for the respective species. "The really hot organisms are the ones with lots of real estate, you know whales, elephants, etc. We had a run on the rhino species but there were so few of them that companies were concerned they wouldn't be able to really get their brand out there. A few groups are currently vying for the California Condor because they think there's real potential for aerial banners they could attach to the condors legs, sort of like those biplanes that advertise stuff over baseball and football games" said May Kenamoney, a wildlife sponsoring & licensing official with the newly formed US Marketing Information & Sponsorship (MISS) department. Some proportion of profit generated for each sponsorship will be set aside in a general fund to help cover smaller species, such as the Kanab Amber Snail (Oxyloma haydeni kanabensis) which have been hard to market. However Kenamoney did mention even these minuscule species had generated interest from several nanotech companies who had designed several hundred sleek waterproof stickers that could cover the snails shell, ensuring maximize product visibility no matter which angle the public viewed the snail.
It might be science, it might be nons(ci)ense, but it still smells.