Costs are not necessarily correlated with threats in conservation landscapes

Sacre, Edmond, Pressey, Robert L., and Bode, Michael (2019) Costs are not necessarily correlated with threats in conservation landscapes. Conservation Letters, 12 (5). e12663.

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The priority of an area for conservation is determined by three primary factors: its biodiversity value, the level of threat it is facing, and its cost. Although much attention has been paid to the spatial relationship between biodiversity value and threats, and between biodiversity value and costs, little is known about how costs and threats are spatially correlated. The orthodox assumption in conservation science is that costs and threats are positively correlated. Here, we adapt a classic economic theory of land use to explain how conservation scientists came to expect a positive correlation between costs and threats. We then use high‐resolution, ground‐truthed datasets of land sales and habitat clearance to show that this assumption is false in the state of Queensland, Australia. Our results provide an empirical counterargument to a widespread assumption in conservation science, and illustrate why spatial prioritization needs to include independent measures of costs and threats.

Item ID: 60838
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: Acquisition, conservation costs, conservation prioritization, conservation threats, habitat loss, land economics, land use change, protected areas, systematic conservation planning
Copyright Information: © 2019 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: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship FT170100274
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 03:49
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961308 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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