Optimal allocation of resources among threatened species: a project prioritization protocol

Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Liana N JosephHugh P Possingham

Abstract

Conservation funds are grossly inadequate to address the plight of threatened species. Government and conservation organizations faced with the task of conserving threatened species desperately need simple strategies for allocating limited resources. The academic literature dedicated to systematic priority setting usually recommends ranking species on several criteria, including level of endangerment and metrics of species value such as evolutionary distinctiveness, ecological importance, and social significance. These approaches ignore 2 crucial factors: the cost of management and the likelihood that the management will succeed. These oversights will result in misallocation of scarce conservation resources and possibly unnecessary losses. We devised a project prioritization protocol (PPP) to optimize resource allocation among New Zealand's threatened-species projects, where costs, benefits (including species values), and the likelihood of management success were considered simultaneously. We compared the number of species managed and the expected benefits gained with 5 prioritization criteria: PPP with weightings based on species value; PPP with species weighted equally; management costs; species value; and threat status. We f...Continue Reading

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Citations

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