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LARGE-SCALE CONSERVATION PLANNING WITH INCOMPLETE INFORMATION: LAND COSTS ARE KEY

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Abstract:

A perennial concern in conservation planning is the need to make immediate decisions using incomplete information. We explored ways of reaching reasonable decisions in such situations by using a return-on-investment (ROI) approach to setting priorities in the case of temperate grasslands in Argentina. Temperate grassland is among the world’s most globally imperiled Major Habitats. Argentina contains some of the best remaining temperate grasslands, but there is virtually no published fine-grained information on species distributions, biodiversity, or land costs. We did have spatial data providing ranges of land costs on a gross spatial scale, locations and shapes of remaining grassland and two weakly correlated measures of the threat to those grasslands (human footprint index and agricultural pressure). We developed a “greedy” algorithm that allocates funds sequentially among grassland areas to build up a conservation portfolio that ultimately covered about 15% of the original habitat. The ROI approach reduced total funds required by > 80% compared to an approach that ignored costs. The final distribution of protected areas was well distributed across grassland types, and was remarkably insensitive to the threat layer used. Land costs had the largest effect on the areas selected for conservation. Thus, while more biological information might well influence our emphasis on areas selected, the analyses suggest that finer-scale data on costs should be a priority.
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Name: International Congress for Conservation Biology
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http://www.conbio.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p244302_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ranganathan, Jai., Murdoch, William. and Polasky, Stephen. "LARGE-SCALE CONSERVATION PLANNING WITH INCOMPLETE INFORMATION: LAND COSTS ARE KEY" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Congress for Conservation Biology, Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN, Jul 10, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p244302_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ranganathan, J. , Murdoch, W. and Polasky, S. , 2008-07-10 "LARGE-SCALE CONSERVATION PLANNING WITH INCOMPLETE INFORMATION: LAND COSTS ARE KEY" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Congress for Conservation Biology, Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p244302_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: A perennial concern in conservation planning is the need to make immediate decisions using incomplete information. We explored ways of reaching reasonable decisions in such situations by using a return-on-investment (ROI) approach to setting priorities in the case of temperate grasslands in Argentina. Temperate grassland is among the world’s most globally imperiled Major Habitats. Argentina contains some of the best remaining temperate grasslands, but there is virtually no published fine-grained information on species distributions, biodiversity, or land costs. We did have spatial data providing ranges of land costs on a gross spatial scale, locations and shapes of remaining grassland and two weakly correlated measures of the threat to those grasslands (human footprint index and agricultural pressure). We developed a “greedy” algorithm that allocates funds sequentially among grassland areas to build up a conservation portfolio that ultimately covered about 15% of the original habitat. The ROI approach reduced total funds required by > 80% compared to an approach that ignored costs. The final distribution of protected areas was well distributed across grassland types, and was remarkably insensitive to the threat layer used. Land costs had the largest effect on the areas selected for conservation. Thus, while more biological information might well influence our emphasis on areas selected, the analyses suggest that finer-scale data on costs should be a priority.

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