Management costs for small protected areas and economies of scale in habitat conservation

Armsworth, Paul R. and Cantu-Salazar, Lisette and Parnell, Mark and Davies, Zoe G. and Stoneman, Rob (2011) Management costs for small protected areas and economies of scale in habitat conservation. Biological Conservation, 144 (1). pp. 423-429. ISSN 0006-3207. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.09.026

Abstract

Protected area management must be resourced adequately to achieve its conservation objectives. The variability in management costs across candidate sites for protection therefore should inform conservation planning. For example, when considering whether to accept a donation of a property, a conservation organisation must determine whether an adequate endowment is available to fund future management activities. We examine variation in management costs across 78 small protected areas in the UK that are managed by a conservation NGO, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Management costs exceed acquisition costs when funded on an endowment basis and are not correlated with acquisition costs or with proxy measures for conservation costs commonly relied upon in conservation planning studies. A combination of geographic, ecological and socioeconomic characteristics of sites explains 50% of the variation in management costs. Site area is the most important determinant of management costs, which demonstrate economies of scale; implementing conservation management on an additional hectare adjacent to a larger protected area would incur a lower cost than doing the same adjacent to a smaller site. In evidencing this effect of site area, we avoid problems of spurious correlation that confound previous studies. Protected areas that encompass a greater richness of priority habitats for conservation also require more expensive management. Conservation organisations may have little option but to create small protected areas to conserve biodiversity in highly fragmented landscapes, but the decision to do so should take account of the greater cost burden that small protected areas incur.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Zoe Davies
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2011 15:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2014 09:40
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/28297 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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