A recent study in Conservation Letters suggested that Americans were willing to spend $4.78–$6.64 billion to protect Monarch Butterflies. The authors also stated that this was a level that corresponded to other endangered wildlife.
That is a staggeringly wonderful figure. When asked, the American people thought the intrinsic value of one species was in the billions. They would spend to protect them from pesticides, destruction of habitat and from agricultural herbicides that are wiping out their food source — the Milkweed.
The article appeared on the same day as the announced pricing of Twitter’s Initial Public Offering (IPO). Twitter would be priced at $26 a share giving the company a total market value of $18.1 billion.
So here is the press release that I hope to see in the near future:
San Francisco — Monarch Butterfly, Inc., (IVE:MBNA) priced its much anticipated IPO at $29.50 a share valuing Monarch Butterflies in North American at $6.5 billion, near the top end of the range announced last week of $22–$30. Monarch’s IPO is a new record for an insect species and comparable to many bird and mammal species that have debuted recently on the Intrinsic Value Exchange.
Analysts have debated the weighting of intrinsic to ecosystem service value for Monarchs but the strong demand for Monarch shares is strong indication of the enduring consumer appeal of these orange fellows.
Monarch, Inc. stated that proceeds form the IPO will be used to acquire nearly 20,000 acres of prime Monarch winter habitat in the Oyamel Fir forests of Central Mexico. In addition, several overwinter sites in California have been leased and optioned for potential future acquisition. A program of Milkweed plantings and herbicide free safety zones across the Midwest will include conversion of over 750,000 acres of agricultural land form conventional to Monarch safe organic farming practices. Monarch, Inc. is in discussions with Soil Grow, Inc., to include a Monarch component to the Midwest soil value metrics.
In related news, Monsanto Company (MON:NYSE) has sold its agriculture chemical business to a private buyer. The chemical group has been a money loser for the company and the spin-off came as no surprise. The rapid growth of the company's Extensive Agriculture Services Division made this an obvious move as chemicals have been a significant drag on earnings for years. CEO Marc Ester commented on the sale, "We feel the future of Monsanto lies in our industry leading ecological services business. Our commitment to shareholder value necessitates investing our human, ecosystem and financial capital as profitably as possible in alignment with our corporate values."