We are alarmed by Brooks et al.'s (2004) article, which argues that species are the only valid currency for conservation assessment and makes an impassioned plea for the allocation of the huge resources required to compile accurate and comprehensive species databases for identifying conservation priorities. They seek to discredit the use of land classes as biodiversity features for conservation assessments. Our concerns with Brooks et al. are threefold: (1) there are a number of approaches, ignored by Brooks et al., that demonstrate the efficacy of combining the complementary strengths of available species data with environmental data so as to avoid species falling through the coarse‐filter net; (2) the biodiversity features used in conservation assessments depend critically on the goal, spatial scale, level of biodiversity knowledge, and implementation opportunities and constraints associated with a particular planning region; and (3) conservation planners should focus on building the basis for the implementation of conservation action—the ultimate goal of conservation planning—rather than amassing more data on species locality records. We address each of these concerns in turn. Brooks et al. ignore, discount, or misinterpret many of the ways in which land classes and currently available data on species localities can be combined
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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