The Princeton Guide to Ecology

By Simon A. Levin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Building and Implementing
Systems of Conservation Areas
Will R. Turner and Robert L. Pressey
1. Introduction
2. Systematic conservation planning
3. Data for conservation planning
4. Methods for the selection of conservation areas
5. Representation or persistence? Dynamics and uncertainty
6. Global conservation planning
7. The future of conservation planning: Research challenges

The future of biodiversity depends critically on effective systems of conservation areas. The science underpinning the design and implementation of these systems has benefited from advances in ecology, data acquisition, and computational methods. Future success requires innovation on issues such as scale, the dynamic nature of threats and opportunities, and socioeconomic factors.


algorithm. Sequence of defined steps to achieve a result, defined by humans but often solved by computers, especially for complex conservation planning problems

conservation area. Place where action is taken to promote the persistence of biodiversity

irreplaceability. Property of a site measuring the likelihood that its protection will be required for a system of conservation areas to meet all targets or to otherwise optimize a conservation objective function

objective function. Mathematical statement of quantities to be maximized (e.g., the number of species or other biodiversity elements meeting targets) or minimized (e.g., cost)

persistence. Sustained existence of species or other elements of biodiversity both within and outside of conservation areas; as a conservation target, generally preferable to representation

representation. Sampling of biodiversity pattern, such as a number of species occurrences, within the boundaries of conservation areas; contrast with persistence

systematic conservation planning. The process of identifying and implementing systems of complementary conservation areas that together achieve explicit, quantifiable targets for the conservation of biological diversity

target. Explicit, quantifiable outcome desired for each species or other biodiversity element of interest


The fraction of Earth’s surface protected in conservation areas increased dramatically in the twentieth century with more than 10% of terrestrial area now under some form of protection (Chape et al., 2005). This effort could not come at a more important time: biodiversity worldwide is in jeopardy, with current species extinction rates estimated to be at least 100– 1000 times higher than in prehuman times. Yet the extent of protected areas alone gives an incomplete picture. Too often these areas have been chosen on the basis of high scenic value or political expediency rather than the persistence of biological diversity. This tendency is evident in the widespread occurrence of areas ostensibly for biodiversity conservation in locations that are poorly drained, arid, remote, steep, or otherwise undesirable for homes, farms, resource extraction, and other human uses. This approach might sound like a “win–win” solution for people and other species. Yet it leaves the species most likely to become extinct— those most subject to human pressures—inadequately protected. The decline of biodiversity and the irreversible loss of conservation opportunities therefore


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Princeton Guide to Ecology
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 810

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?