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On Friday afternoon I'm giving a seminar at Otago University entitled "A Tale of Two Species"

Here's the abstract:
Tigers and the salt-water crocodile share many similar features. Both have had their populations reduced to a remnant due to economic factors, both are apex predators that generate human-animal conflicts, yet also produce goods considered to have high value. The paradox is that despite the tiger receiving most attention and conservation resources, it is the saltwater crocodile that has experienced the most dramatic recovery. Wild tiger numbers in Asia however, are still in decline. The crocodile recovery can be attributed to an elegant and strategic property rights solution. The factors behind this recovery are elaborated. In the same vein, the property-rights regime implemented for tigers has exacerbated rather than reversed the decline of this iconic species.

The kind of intriguing thing is how two apex predators- ranging over many countries- both starting as endangered in the 1970s (both listed in Appendix I of CITES)- took such a divergent path in their recovery. What makes it even more intriguing is the one species that was lavished with resources has done far worse. This seems a bit counter-intuitive so I'm going to try answering that question on Friday.