Prioritizing global conservation efforts

The Ecology Centre, Schools of Integrative Biology and Physical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 04/2006; 440(7082):337-40. DOI: 10.1038/nature04366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One of the most pressing issues facing the global conservation community is how to distribute limited resources between regions identified as priorities for biodiversity conservation. Approaches such as biodiversity hotspots, endemic bird areas and ecoregions are used by international organizations to prioritize conservation efforts globally. Although identifying priority regions is an important first step in solving this problem, it does not indicate how limited resources should be allocated between regions. Here we formulate how to allocate optimally conservation resources between regions identified as priorities for conservation--the 'conservation resource allocation problem'. Stochastic dynamic programming is used to find the optimal schedule of resource allocation for small problems but is intractable for large problems owing to the "curse of dimensionality". We identify two easy-to-use and easy-to-interpret heuristics that closely approximate the optimal solution. We also show the importance of both correctly formulating the problem and using information on how investment returns change through time. Our conservation resource allocation approach can be applied at any spatial scale. We demonstrate the approach with an example of optimal resource allocation among five priority regions in Wallacea and Sundaland, the transition zone between Asia and Australasia.

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Available from: Kerrie Ann Wilson, Aug 02, 2015
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    • "Los recursos disponibles para la conservación biológica son limitados . Como es imposible conservar todos los ecosistemas a través de las ANPs , se han identificado regiones del planeta prioritarias para la conservación , usando criterios como sus niveles de diversidad o de endemismo ( Ceballos et al . , 1998 ; Myers et al . , 2000 ; Wilson et al . , 2006 ) . Sin embargo , no siempre se ha prestado la misma atención al estudio de la variación espacial de la diversidad en el interior de las ANPs para definir prioridades de conservación más finas . Dado que las ANPs no son homogéneas ni en su distribución de recursos ni en las condiciones ambientales de su territorio , es de esperarse que "
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    • "Animals with complex life histories, particularly those that are long-lived and migratory, present unique conservation challenges (Wilson et al., 2006; Martin et al., 2007). For many species, important life stages are poorly understood and key conservation questions remain unknown, such as: How long do certain stages last? "
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