Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

An Evaluation of Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the Context of Spatial Conservation Prioritization

McGowan, Jennifer, Smith, Robert J., Di Marco, Moreno, Clarke, Rohan, Possingham, Hugh P. (2018) An Evaluation of Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the Context of Spatial Conservation Prioritization. Conservation Letters, 11 (3). Article Number e12399. ISSN 1755-263X. E-ISSN 1755-263X. (doi:10.1111/conl.12399) (KAR id:63238)


Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as globally important for bird species conservation. Marine IBAs are one of the few comprehensive multi-species datasets available for the marine environment, and their use in conservation planning will likely increase as countries race to protect 10% of their territorial waters by 2020. We tested 15 planning scenarios for Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone to guide best practice on integrating marine IBAs into spatial conservation prioritization. We found prioritizations based solely on habitat protection failed to protect IBAs, and prioritizations based solely on IBAs similarly failed to meet basic levels of habitat representation. Further, treating all marine IBAs as irreplaceable sites produced the most inefficient plans in terms of ecological representativeness and protection equality. Our analyses suggest that marine spatial planners who wish to use IBAs treat them like any other conservation feature by assigning them a specific protection target.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/conl.12399
Uncontrolled keywords: Conservation; IBAs; MPAs; protection equality; representation; seabirds; spatial prioritization
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research Council (
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2017 15:19 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.