Environmental Management

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 527–543

Measuring and Incorporating Vulnerability into Conservation Planning

  • Kerrie Wilson
  • Robert L. Pressey
  • Adrian Newton
  • Mark Burgman
  • Hugh Possingham
  • Chris Weston
Article

Abstract

Conservation planning is the process of locating and designing conservation areas to promote the persistence of biodiversity in situ. To do this, conservation areas must be able to mitigate at least some of the proximate threats to biodiversity. Information on threatening processes and the relative vulnerability of areas and natural features to these processes is therefore crucial for effective conservation planning. However, measuring and incorporating vulnerability into conservation planning have been problematic. We develop a conceptual framework of the role of vulnerability assessments in conservation planning and propose a definition of vulnerability that incorporates three dimensions: exposure, intensity, and impact. We review and categorize methods for assessing the vulnerability of areas and the features they contain and identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of each broad approach. Our review highlights the need for further development and evaluation of approaches to assess vulnerability and for comparisons of their relative effectiveness.

Keywords

Conservation planning Vulnerability Reserve design Threats Uncertainty 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerrie Wilson
    • 1
  • Robert L. Pressey
    • 2
  • Adrian Newton
    • 3
  • Mark Burgman
    • 4
  • Hugh Possingham
    • 5
  • Chris Weston
    • 6
  1. 1.The Ecology CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Environment and ConservationRobert . L. PresseyArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.School of Conservation SciencesBournemouth UniversityTalbot Campus PooleUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.School of BotanyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  5. 5.The Ecology CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  6. 6.Forest Science CentreUniversity of MelbourneCreswickAustralia

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