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Cost-effective priorities for global mammal conservation

By Josie Carwardine, Kerrie A. Wilson, Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Robin Naidoo, Takuya Iwamura, Stefan A. Hajkowicz and Hugh P. Possingham

Abstract

Global biodiversity priority setting underpins the strategic allocation of conservation funds. In identifying the first comprehensive set of global priority areas for mammals, Ceballos et al. [Ceballos G, Ehrlich PR, Soberón J, Salazar I, Fay JP (2005) Science 309:603–607] found much potential for conflict between conservation and agricultural human activity. This is not surprising because, like other global priority-setting approaches, they set priorities without socioeconomic objectives. Here we present a priority-setting framework that seeks to minimize the conflicts and opportunity costs of meeting conservation goals. We use it to derive a new set of priority areas for investment in mammal conservation based on (i) agricultural opportunity cost and biodiversity importance, (ii) current levels of international funding, and (iii) degree of threat. Our approach achieves the same biodiversity outcomes as Ceballos et al.'s while reducing the opportunity costs and conflicts with agricultural human activity by up to 50%. We uncover shortfalls in the allocation of conservation funds in many threatened priority areas, highlighting a global conservation challenge

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2495010
Provided by: PubMed Central
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