The broad objective of systematic conservation planning is the planning of conservation actions to effectively secure the persistence of all species; it has traditionally focused on the development of protected areas. If we ignore efficiency then the task is simple and impractical – conserve everything. If we cannot conserve everything, then decisions need to be made. In theory, to be sure that we have secured viable populations of every species, we would need to know, at a bare minimum, the distribution and abundance of every species that requires conservation. This has occurred for some vertebrate groups in some regions but rarely for plants and almost never for any invertebrates and micro‐organisms, except at a small spatial scale (e.g. butterflies in some European countries). It is currently inconceivable that we will have detailed distribution maps for many important components of biodiversity, like the micro‐fungi, at the scale of continents or countries, this century (with possibly a few exceptions, see the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative at the Swedish Species Information Centre, http://www.artdata.slu.se ). This realization has fostered a flowering of research in developing and testing the value of biodiversity surrogates. Biodiversity surrogates for conservation planning include both known or predicted distributions
Journal of Biogeography – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2007
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