Engage the hodgepodge: management factors are essential when prioritizing areas for restoration and conservation action

Authors

  • Andrew T. Knight,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, Western Cape, South Africa
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  • Sahotra Sarkar,

    1. Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory, Section of Integrative Biology, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, University Station, C3500, Austin, TX 78712-1180, USA
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  • Robert. J. Smith,

    1. Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NR, UK
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  • Niels Strange,

    1. University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
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  • Kerrie A. Wilson

    1. The Ecology Centre, School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia
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Andrew T. Knight, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, Western Cape, South Africa.
E-mail: tawnyfrogmouth@gmail.com

Abstract

Restoration and conservation initiatives, such as the eradication of invasive alien plants, should be guided by scientific evidence. Typically, ecological data alone is used to inform the decision-making of these initiatives. Recent advances in the mapping of conservation opportunity include a diverse range of scientifically-identified factors that determine the feasibility and likely effectiveness of conservation initiatives, and include, for example, data on the willingness and capacity of land managers to be effectively involved. Social research techniques such as interview surveys, phenomenology, and social network analysis are important approaches for securing useful human and social data. These approaches are yet to be widely adopted in restoration initiatives, but could be usefully applied to improve the effective implementation of these initiatives. Restoration and conservation planners will deliver spatial prioritisations which provide more effective and cost-efficient decision-making if they include not simply ecological data, but also data on economic, human, management, social and vulnerability factors that determine implementation effectiveness.

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