Abstract: Effective conservation requires addressing three fundamental questions whose answers can only be sought in conservation practice: (1) What should our goals be and how do we measure progress in reaching them? (2) How can we most effectively take action to achieve conservation? and (3) How can we learn to do conservation better? This essay provides a conceptual framework and research agenda for a conservation science that uses the principles of adaptive management to answer these questions. The framework is based on a general model of a conservation project. The conservation target involves defining the specific area or population the project is trying to influence. This target is affected by direct and indirect threats and opportunities; we provide a table of potential direct threats. Conservation actions that are taken to counter these threats can be divided into approaches, strategies, and specific tools; we present a comprehensive table of potential approaches. Finally, the practicioners that take these actions include individuals, organizations, project alliances, and networks; we define the specific functional roles necessary to achieve effective adaptive management. We then use this framework to outline a research agenda for conservation science that involves defining clear and practical measures of conservation success, determining sound guiding principles for using conservation strategies and tools, and developing the knowledge and skills in individuals and organizations for good adaptive management and thus for making conservation more effective.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2002
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