Collaborative conservation planning: Quantifying the contribution of expert engagement to identify spatial conservation priorities

Date: 03, Oct, 2019
Author(s):   Selwoon, K., Wintle, B.A., Kujala, H.
Publisher: Conservation Letters

The importance of expert input to spatial conservation prioritization outcomes is poorly understood. We quantified the impacts of refinements made during consultation with experts on spatial conservation prioritization of Christmas Island. There was just 0.57 correlation between the spatial conservation priorities before and after consultation, bottom ranked areas being most sensitive to changes. The inclusion of a landscape condition layer was the most significant individual influence. Changes (addition, removal, modification) to biodiversity layers resulted in a combined 0.2 reduction in correlation between initial and final solutions. Representation of rare species in top ranked areas was much greater after expert consultation; representation of widely distributed species changed relatively little. Our results show how different inputs have notably different impacts on the final plan. Understanding these differences helps plan time and resources for expert consultation.

Collaborative conservation planning: Quantifying the contribution of expert engagement to identify spatial conservation priorities