Review Article | Published:

Systematic conservation planning

Nature volume 405, pages 243253 (11 May 2000) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The realization of conservation goals requires strategies for managing whole landscapes including areas allocated to both production and protection. Reserves alone are not adequate for nature conservation but they are the cornerstone on which regional strategies are built. Reserves have two main roles. They should sample or represent the biodiversity of each region and they should separate this biodiversity from processes that threaten its persistence. Existing reserve systems throughout the world contain a biased sample of biodiversity, usually that of remote places and other areas that are unsuitable for commercial activities. A more systematic approach to locating and designing reserves has been evolving and this approach will need to be implemented if a large proportion of today's biodiversity is to exist in a future of increasing numbers of people and their demands on natural resources.

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Acknowledgements

D. Faith, M. Hutchinson and H. Nix permitted the use of the unpublished map in Fig. 2. Many people have contributed to the ideas expressed here including M. Austin, C. Humphries, S. Ferrier, N. Nicholls, S. Sarkar, R. Vane-Wright, P. Walker and P. Williams. Critical comments from A. Balmford, G. Harrington, R. Noss and D. Westcott improved a draft of the manuscript. Some of the ideas discussed here were developed while both authors held fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. T. Barrett and M. Watts prepared Figs 5 and 6.

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  1. *CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology, Tropical Forest Research Centre, and the Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre, PO Box 780, Atherton, Queensland 4883, Australia

    • C. R. Margules
  2. †NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service , PO Box 402, Armidale, New South Wales 2350, Australia

    • R. L. Pressey

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