Efficiency and effectiveness in representative reserve design in Canada: the contribution of existing protected areas

Wiersma, Yolanda and Nudds, Thomas D. (2009) Efficiency and effectiveness in representative reserve design in Canada: the contribution of existing protected areas. Biological Conservation, 142 (8). pp. 1639-1646. ISSN 0006-3207

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To be effective, reserve networks should represent all target species in protected areas that are large enough to ensure species persistence. Given limited resources to set aside protected areas for biodiversity conservation, and competing land uses, a prime consideration for the design of reserve networks is efficiency (the maximum biodiversity represented in a minimum number of sites). However, to be effective, networks may sacrifice efficiency. We used reserve selection algorithms to determine whether collections of existing individual protected areas in Canada were efficient and/or effective in terms of representing the diversity of disturbance-sensitive mammals in Canada in comparison to (1) an optimal network of reserves, and (2) sites selected at random. Unlike previous studies, we restricted our analysis to individual protected areas that met a criterion for minimum reserve size, to address issues of representation and persistence simultaneously. We also tested for effectiveness and efficiency using historical and presentday data to see whether protected area efficiency and/or effectiveness varied over time. In general, existing protected areas did not effectively capture the full suite of mammalian species diversity, nor are most existing protected areas part of a near-optimal solution set. To be effective, Canada’s network of reserves will require at minimum 22 additional areas of >2700 km2. This study shows that even when only those reserves large enough to be effective are considered, protected areas systems may not be representative, nor were they representative at the time of establishment.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/672
Item ID: 672
Keywords: algorithms, Canada, gap analysis, mammal conservation, reserve planning
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: August 2009
Date Type: Publication
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