Diminishing return on investment for biodiversity data in conservation planning

Grantham, Hedley, Moilanen, Atte, Wilson, Kerrie A., Pressey, Robert, Rebelo, Tony G. and Possingham, Hugh (2008) Diminishing return on investment for biodiversity data in conservation planning. Conservation Letters, 1 4: 190-198. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00029.x

Author Grantham, Hedley
Moilanen, Atte
Wilson, Kerrie A.
Pressey, Robert
Rebelo, Tony G.
Possingham, Hugh
Title Diminishing return on investment for biodiversity data in conservation planning
Journal name Conservation Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1755-263X
Publication date 2008-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00029.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 1
Issue 4
Start page 190
End page 198
Total pages 9
Place of publication Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 0502 Environmental Science and Management
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050206 Environmental Monitoring
050209 Natural Resource Management
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Abstract It is generally assumed that gathering more data is a good investment for conservation planning. However, the benefits of additional data have seldom been evaluated by analyzing the return on investment. If there are diminishing returns in terms of improved planning, then resources might be better directed toward other actions, depending on their relative costs and benefits. Our aim was to determine the return on investment from spending different amounts on survey data before undertaking a program of implementing new protected areas. We estimated how much protea data is obtained as a function of dollars invested in surveying. We then simulated incremental protection and loss of habitat to determine the benefit of investment in that data on the protection of proteas. We found that, after an investment of only US$100,000 (∼780,000 South Africa Rand [ZAR]), there was little increase in the effectiveness of conservation prioritizations, despite the full data set costing at least 25 times that amount.
Keyword Biodiversity assessment
Dynamic conservation planning
Land-use modeling
Resource allocation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Fri, 28 Nov 2008, 21:59:50 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of Faculty of Science