Determination of conservation priorities in regions with multiple political jurisdictions
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- Schmeller, D.S., Bauch, B., Gruber, B. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2008) 17: 3623. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9446-9
Red lists serve as the most prominent tool for priority setting in applied conservation, even though they were not originally designed for this task. Hence, threat status does not always reflect actual conservation needs and can be very different from actual conservation priorities. Therefore, red lists may at best be a suboptimal tool for setting conservation priorities in a country or region. As a response, a range of alternative or complementary tools have been developed, with approaches, methods, and parameters such as population decline, population center etc. used, differing widely among countries. One recent development is the combination of conservation status with a measure of the international importance of a population in a focal region for the global survival of a species. Here, we provide a new method that integrates the two concepts while keeping them conceptually separate. The main benefit of this method is that it can be applied across variable geographical scales such as regions, countries, and even continents. Furthermore, it allows for better recommendations for applied conservation and conservation policy development than the two concepts in isolation. Our method, if applied internationally, would allow for a standardized priority setting in species conservation, would be highly comparable between countries, and would lead to a more efficient use of the limited financial and human resources for monitoring and conservation of biodiversity.