Bigger or better: the relative benefits of protected area network expansion and enforcement for the conservation of an exploited species

Kuempel, Caitlin D., Adams, Vanessa M., Possingham, Hugh P., and Bode, Michael (2018) Bigger or better: the relative benefits of protected area network expansion and enforcement for the conservation of an exploited species. Conservation Letters, 11 (3). e12433.

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The global portfolio of protected areas is growing rapidly, despite widely recognized shortfalls in management effectiveness. Pressure to meet area-coverage and management effectiveness objectives makes it essential to determine how limited conservation funds should be allocated between expanding protected area networks and better enforcing existing reserves. We formally explore this question for the particular case of an exploited species in a partially protected system, using a general model linking protection, enforcement and legal/illegal resource extraction. We show that, on average, funds should be disproportionately invested in enforcement rather than expansion. Further, expansion alone, without additional enforcement, can actually reduce conservation outcomes. To help guide future decisions, we calculate the optimal allocation of resources between these two actions given any current level of enforcement and protected area coverage. In most cases, simultaneously investing in expansion and enforcement is the optimal decision. However, in places with low enforcement and high protection, protected area contraction, or strategically concentrating enforcement effort, produces the greatest benefits.

Item ID: 54412
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: Aichi Target 11, compliance, management costs, management effectiveness, metapopulation modelling, natural resource management, poaching
Copyright Information: © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Laureate Fellowship FL130100090, ARC DECRA DE130100572
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 07:31
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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