Habitat reconstruction and landscape planning have become important topics in conservation because we recognize that in many landscapes the quantity and quality of habitat is inadequate to meet biodiversity conservation goals. One method for prioritizing habitat reconstruction is the focal‐species approach ( Lambeck 1997 ), in which a suite of sensitive species is identified in order to define the landscape configuration and habitat composition needed to conserve the whole biota. These surrogate species typically include the species most sensitive to habitat area, isolation, certain critical resources, and disturbances such as fire. As with other surrogacy approaches, it is hoped that the needs of other species in the biota will fall under the umbrella of these focal species ( but see Lindemayer et al. 2002 ). Watson et al. (2001) use this focal‐species approach to develop guidelines for the size and placement of eucalypt woodland remnants for conserving birds in a region of southeastern Australia. They identify the Easter Yellow Robin ( Eopsaltria australis ) as a focal species for isolation and the Hooded Robin ( Melanodryas cucullata ) as the species most sensitive to habitat area and complexity. The method has the considerable advantage of being easy to
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2003
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