ROBUST DECISION-MAKING UNDER SEVERE UNCERTAINTY FOR CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT

ROBUST DECISION-MAKING UNDER SEVERE UNCERTAINTY FOR CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT In conservation biology it is necessary to make management decisions for endangered and threatened species under severe uncertainty. Failure to acknowledge and treat uncertainty can lead to poor decisions. To illustrate the importance of considering uncertainty, we reanalyze a decision problem for the Sumatran rhino, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis , using information-gap theory to propagate uncertainties and to rank management options. Rather than requiring information about the extent of parameter uncertainty at the outset, information-gap theory addresses the question of how much uncertainty can be tolerated before our decision would change. It assesses the robustness of decisions in the face of severe uncertainty. We show that different management decisions may result when uncertainty in utilities and probabilities are considered in decision-making problems. We highlight the importance of a full assessment of uncertainty in conservation management decisions to avoid, as much as possible, undesirable outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Applications Ecological Society of America

ROBUST DECISION-MAKING UNDER SEVERE UNCERTAINTY FOR CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT

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Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Regular Article
ISSN
1051-0761
DOI
10.1890/03-5419
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In conservation biology it is necessary to make management decisions for endangered and threatened species under severe uncertainty. Failure to acknowledge and treat uncertainty can lead to poor decisions. To illustrate the importance of considering uncertainty, we reanalyze a decision problem for the Sumatran rhino, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis , using information-gap theory to propagate uncertainties and to rank management options. Rather than requiring information about the extent of parameter uncertainty at the outset, information-gap theory addresses the question of how much uncertainty can be tolerated before our decision would change. It assesses the robustness of decisions in the face of severe uncertainty. We show that different management decisions may result when uncertainty in utilities and probabilities are considered in decision-making problems. We highlight the importance of a full assessment of uncertainty in conservation management decisions to avoid, as much as possible, undesirable outcomes.

Journal

Ecological ApplicationsEcological Society of America

Published: Aug 1, 2005

Keywords: conservation management ; decision theory ; Dicerorhinus sumatrensis ; information gap ; robustness of decisions ; Sumatran rhino ; uncertainty

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