Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Selling out on nature

With scant evidence that market-based conservation works, argues Douglas J. McCauley, the time is ripe for returning to the protection of nature for nature's sake.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Daily, G. C. Nature's Services (Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Framework for the Assessment (Island Press, Washington, DC, 2003).

  3. Hayward, B. From the Mountain to the Tap: How Land Use and Water Management Can Work for the Rural Poor (NR International, UK, 2005); available at

    Google Scholar 

  4. Gibbard, S., Caldeira, K., Bala, G., Phillips, T. J. & Wickett, M. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L23705 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Woodroffe, R., Thirgood, S. & Rabinowitz, A. (eds) People and Wildlife, Conflict or Co-existence? (Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 2005).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  6. Willott, E. Restor. Ecol. 12, 147–153 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ricketts, T. H., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. & Michener, C. D. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 12579–12582 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. DePalma, A. New York Times New York's water supply may need filtering (20 July 2006).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Wilson, E. O. The Diversity of Life (Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Terborgh, J. Requiem for Nature (Island Press, Washington DC, 1999).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

McCauley, D. Selling out on nature. Nature 443, 27–28 (2006).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing