Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

By the Numbers: For Richer or Poorer

By Lauren GravitzFebruary 1, 2002 6:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

As nations grow wealthy, their wildlife may pay a price. Ecologist Robin Naidoo and economist Wiktor Adamowicz, both at the University of Alberta in Canada, compared GNP and endangered species lists of 150 countries. The number of threatened species in five out of seven taxonomic groups—plants, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates—consistently rose as per capita GNP increased. The findings contradict a widely held theory that economic growth hurts the environment during only early stages of development. Later, ecology should improve as citizens place a greater value on preservation. In reality only birds and sometimes mammals benefit from a healthy economy, perhaps because of what Adamowicz calls the cute-and-fuzzy factor. "We may be focusing on species based on human preferences, when the small and slimy things are the ones that need the effort," he says.


3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In