White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Scale and conservation planning in the real world

Erasmus, B.F.N., Freitag, S., Gaston, K.J., Erasmus, B.H. and van Jaarsveld, A.S. (1999) Scale and conservation planning in the real world. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266 (1417). pp. 315-319. ISSN 1471-2954


Download (124Kb)


Conservation planning is carried out on a variety of geopolitical and biogeographical scales. Whereas considerable consensus is emerging about the most appropriate procedures for identifying conservation areas, the spatial implications of conducting conservation planning at divergent scales have received little attention. Here we explore the consequences of planning at different geopolitical scales, using a database of the mammalian fauna from the Northern Provinces of South Africa. The conservation network resulting from treating the region as one unit is compared with networks generated separately for the provinces nested in that region. These outcomes are evaluated in terms of (i) their land use efficiencies, (ii) their spatial overlap, and (iii) the impact of algorithm attributes. Although land use efficiencies are greater on broader scales, on average the spatial congruence between the broad-scale regional network and fine-scale provincial networks was less than 14%. Algorithms using different selection rules fail to improve this disturbing outcome. Consequently, scale has an overwhelming influence on areas identified as conservation networks in geopolitical units. This should be recognized in conservation planning.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Royal Society, 1999. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: conservation networks, scale, spatial overlap, land use efficiency
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 07:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1999.0640
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0640
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1337

Actions (repository staff only: login required)