When should we save the most endangered species?

Wilson, Howard B., Joseph, Liana N., Moore, Alana L. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2011) When should we save the most endangered species?. Ecology Letters, 14 9: 886-890. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01652.x

Author Wilson, Howard B.
Joseph, Liana N.
Moore, Alana L.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title When should we save the most endangered species?
Journal name Ecology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-023X
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01652.x
Volume 14
Issue 9
Start page 886
End page 890
Total pages 5
Place of publication Oxford, United Kindgom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract At the heart of our efforts to protect threatened species, there is a controversial debate about whether to give priority to cost-effective actions or whether focusing solely on the most endangered species will ultimately lead to preservation of the greatest number of species. By framing this debate within a decision-analytic framework, we show that allocating resources solely to the most endangered species will typically not minimise the number of extinctions in the long-term, as this does not account for the risk of less endangered species going extinct in the future. It is only favoured when our planning timeframe is short or we have a long-term view and we are optimistic about future conditions. Conservation funding tends to be short-term in nature, which biases allocations to more endangered species. Our work highlights the need to consider resource allocation for biodiversity over the long-term; 'preventive conservation', rather than just short-term fire-fighting.
Keyword Anti-triage
Decision theory
Endangered species
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published under Letters

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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