Birds as surrogates for biodiversity: an analysis of a data set from southern Québec.

Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory, Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Texas at Austin, Waggener 316, Austin, TX 78712-1180, USA.
Journal of Biosciences (Impact Factor: 1.94). 08/2002; 27(4 Suppl 2):347-60. DOI: 10.1007/BF02704965
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Surrogacy analysis consists of determining a set of biotic or environmental parameters which can be rapidly assessed in the field and reliably used to prioritize places for biodiversity conservation. Whether adequate surrogate sets exist remains an open and relatively unexplored question though its solution is central to the aims of conservation biology. This paper analyses the surrogacy problem by prioritizing places using surrogate lists and comparing these results with those obtained by using more comprehensive species lists. More specifically, it explores (i) the possibility of using bird distributions, which are often easily available, as surrogates for species at risk (endangered and threatened species), which are presumed to be an important component of biodiversity; and (ii) the methodological question of how spatial scale influences surrogate success. The data set analysed, from southern Québec, is one of the most complete biotic data sets available at the regional scale. Contrary to some previous analyses, the results obtained suggest that the surrogacy problem is potentially solvable.

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May 31, 2014