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Prioritising species for monitoring conservation actions: Combining cost-effectiveness with complementarity

We have a decision point article that just came out this month! A great opportunity to communicate on how we can use complementarity between species to improve our monitoring efficiency, and of course remain cost-effective. In Tulloch et al (2013), we used network theory and a lot of ecology to find the best way of modelling and solving this problem. In the end, we were very pleased to show that it is possible to increase your monitoring power by selecting the most complementary species and also reducing the cost. A win-win situation that is rarely available in conservation. 

Complementarity has been explored in conservation planning (Justus & Sarkar, 2002) but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time that it is used for monitoring interacting species. There is a lot to be done to take advantage of complementarity between management actions. Unfortunately, we often choose to ignore or under estimate the positive interactions between management actions. We recently extended this concept to priority threat management successfully (briefly presented in Carwardine et al, 2014, and explored in depth in Chades et al, under review).

In the meantime, have fun reading the DP article:

  • Tulloch A., Chades I. (2014) Prioritising species for monitoring conservation actions. Decision point, vol 78, 10-11. PDF

The original paper:

Literature cited:

  • Justus, J. and S. Sarkar. 2002. The principle of complementarity in the design of reserve networks to conserve biodiversity: A preliminary history. Journal of biosciences 27:421-435.
  • Carwardine, J., S. Nicol, S. van Leeuwen, B. Walters, J. Firn, A. Reeson, T. Martin, and I. Chadès. 2014. Priority threat management for Pilbara species of conservation significance. CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences, Brisbane, Australia. (PDF, conversation article, blog post)
  • Chadès I, Nicol S., van Leeuwen S., Walters B., Firn J., Reeson A., Martin T. & Carwardine J. (under review). Complementary threat management priorities save more species.


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