Introduction Systematic conservation planning ( Margules & Pressey 2000 ) is approaching its 25th birthday ( Pressey 2002 ). The field has produced many hundreds of scientific publications. More important, its science is increasingly influencing the decisions of organizations ( Groves et al. 2002 ), shaping legislation and policy ( Environment Australia 2001 ; Reyers et al. 2007 ), and achieving results on the ground and in the water ( Finkel 1998 ; Pressey 1998 ; Airame 2005 ; Fernandes et al. 2005 ). There is, of course, much room for improvement, but systematic conservation planning is progressively expanding its scope and perspectives and becoming more effective at synthesizing lines of thought that were previously poorly connected. A recent paper in this journal ( Knight & Cowling 2007 ) documents some of this progress. The authors’ main argument, with which we agree, is that conservation scientists should better understand and respond to opportunities for action. In the process of making their case, however, they have muddied the water on three issues to the extent that clarification seems warranted. First, we question the accuracy and utility of discounting the contributions to real‐world conservation of scientists who “typically pursue quantifiable
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2008
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