At this point there is well over a quarter century of research in the field of conservation biology assessing the wisdom of using surrogate species to guide conservation planning. Time and again researchers have warned of the risks associated with poorly informed use of surrogates, indicators, or proxy measures. A very recent example is an investigation by Fang Wang and colleagues, The hidden risk of using umbrella species as conservation surrogates: A spatio-temporal approach, published in Biological Conservation.   Wang and his colleagues evaluate use of the giant panda as an umbrella species to protect sympatric mammals, evaluating the panda and eight other mammal species using camera trap data, remote sensing […]
Choosing among alternative management actions to protect endangered species can be a fraught exercise in light of uncertainty about the outcomes. As Stefano Canessa and his colleagues point out in their article Risk aversion and uncertainty create a conundrum for planning recovery of a critically endangered species recently published in Conservation Science and Practice, the prospect is even more daunting when one or more of the alternatives has the potential to worsen the status of the species. That said, science has the potential to provide decision-makers with valuable information in such circumstances, thereby reducing uncertainty.   Canessa and his colleagues assess nest protection options for critically endangered regent honeyeaters, native […]
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