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Endangered Species

A cryogenic seed bank for preservation of endangered plant species

By training, Harold Koopowitz is a neurobiologist, someone who studies the brains and nervous systems of animals. As a child, he collected wildflowers in his native South Africa, and he continued his hobby when he moved to the United States to pursue his profession. When he learned about the high rates of endangerment and extinction faces by plants, he decided to devote some of his scientific ingenuity to their protection. Today, Koopowitz directs the arboretum at the University of California at Irvine. One component of the arboretum’s activities is a cryogenic seed bank.


Insurance scheme for resolving conflict between livestock farmers and endangered Snow Leopards.

Snow Leopards prey on the livestock of local farmers who retaliate by killing the predators. From an economic perspective, the local farmers perceive the Snow Leopards’ actions as a risk to their livelihoods and they act to eliminate that risk. In this situation the local farmers perceive the Snow Leopard as having no economic value, or worse, as having a negative value since it threatens their livelihoods.


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