How Much Would You Pay to Save a Squirrel?

June 18, 2010

Arizona is spending $1.25 million on bridges for endangered squirrels over a mountain road so they don’t become road kill. This is a serious problem as up to five squirrels are believed to perish each year.

Arizona’s 2009 budget called on the state to sell off selected publicly owned buildings and lease them back in order to generate ready cash. Although expensive in terms of future lease obligations, the process would generate a potential $735 million.

This money was to be used to plug the $3 billion deficit and improve the welfare of squirrels.

ABC News reports that the squirrels’ budget is split between a $400,000 canopy above the road, a $160,000 camera monitoring system, and the final portion of the funds on a project to monitor the rodents.

With 250 squirrels in the region this amounts to $5,000 a squirrel or $0.25 million for each prevented squirrel death – assuming the scheme works at 100% efficacy.

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