Testing a recipe for effective recovery plan design: a marine turtle case study

Roberts, Jasmine D., and Hamann, Mark (2016) Testing a recipe for effective recovery plan design: a marine turtle case study. Endangered Species Research, 31. pp. 147-161.

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Managing impacts to threatened species is challenging, because it is intrinsically linked to resources, knowledge, capacity and public and government will. A key tool often used in species conservation is a recovery or management plan. Yet all too often, plans are not designed for evaluation and not tested against quantitative criteria. Our study takes a novel approach to recovery plan assessment by assembling a worldwide database of recovery plans for a single taxon. We obtained 79 recovery or management plans for marine turtles and then designed criteria to assess and compare them for their ability to be evaluated and thus successfully implemented. We then used expert opinion of marine turtle specialists to weigh our 18 criteria. Overall, we found that the failure to adequately integrate adaptive management into plan design was a major shortcoming of marine turtle recovery planning (>90% of plans). Other common gaps included inadequacy of measurable objectives (75% of plans) and an absence of timelines (50% of plans). We highlight knowledge gaps relating to status trends, critical habitat and a lack of incorporation of social aspects such as stewardship and education. Our research underlines the importance of recovery planning from multiple scales and provides a step towards designing recovery plans that include SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) objectives; scientific information; social aspects; and evaluation. We highlight the importance of national and multi-national planning processes to produce internationally relevant plans that will maximise conservation efforts for a globally threatened marine species.

Item ID: 49329
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1613-4796
Keywords: marine turtles, recovery planning, threatened species, SMART
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© The authors 2016. Open Access under Creative Commons by Attribution Licence. Use, distribution and reproduction are unrestricted. Authors and original publication must be credited.

Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 01:16
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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