We are delighted that Pressey and Bottrill (2008) agree with the message conveyed in Knight and Cowling (2007) , namely, that the effectiveness of conservation‐planning initiatives can be greatly improved when opportunities for and constraints on implementing conservation action are explicitly incorporated into the identification of spatial priorities. Pressey and Bottrill (2008) , however, contend we “muddied the water” on the opportunism debate by (1) discounting the contributions to real‐world conservation of researchers pursuing quantifiable certainty at the expense of useful outputs and distinguishing these researchers from those engaged in pragmatic real‐world conservation planning, (2) stating that incorporation of measures of threat in spatial prioritizations “unnecessarily emphasizes obstacles to conservation action or ‘shackles conservation planning with a negative perspective’,” and (3) conflating 2 different meanings of the term opportunism that should be distinguished, namely, informed versus political or organizational (or uninformed) opportunism. Of the 3 issues raised, only the third is of direct relevance to the central thesis in Knight and Cowling (2007) . However, we respond to Pressey and Bottrill's 3 concerns because clarifying these misunderstandings is essential to achieving consensus in our discipline, which is fundamental to bridging the gap that currently exists between research and
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2008
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