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Ecol Appl. 2010 Sep;20(6):1721-32.

Conserving biodiversity in production landscapes.

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1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia. k.wilson2@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Alternative land uses make different contributions to the conservation of biodiversity and have different implementation and management costs. Conservation planning analyses to date have generally assumed that land is either protected or unprotected, and that the unprotected portion does not contribute to conservation goals. We develop and apply a new planning approach that explicitly accounts for the contribution of a diverse range of land uses to achieving conservation goals. Using East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) as a case study, we prioritize investments in alternative conservation strategies and account for the relative contribution of land uses ranging from production forest to well-managed protected areas. We employ data on the distribution of mammals and assign species-specific conservation targets to achieve equitable protection by accounting for life history characteristics and home range sizes. The relative sensitivity of each species to forest degradation determines the contribution of each land use to achieving targets. We compare the cost effectiveness of our approach to a plan that considers only the contribution of protected areas to biodiversity conservation, and to a plan that assumes that the cost of conservation is represented by only the opportunity costs of conservation to the timber industry. Our preliminary results will require further development and substantial stakeholder engagement prior to implementation; nonetheless we reveal that, by accounting for the contribution of unprotected land, we can obtain more refined estimates of the costs of conservation. Using traditional planning approaches would overestimate the cost of achieving the conservation targets by an order of magnitude. Our approach reveals not only where to invest, but which strategies to invest in, in order to effectively and efficiently conserve biodiversity.

PMID:
20945770
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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