Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

The use, and usefulness, of spatial conservation prioritizations

Sinclair, Samuel P., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Smith, Robert J., McIntosh, Emma J., Possingham, Hugh P., Vercammen, Ans, Knight, Andrew T. (2018) The use, and usefulness, of spatial conservation prioritizations. Conservation Letters, 11 (6). Article Number e12459. ISSN 1755-263X. (doi:10.1111/conl.12459) (KAR id:67000)


Spatial conservation prioritization is used globally to guide decision making with the aim of delivering the best conservation gain per unit investment. However, despite many publications on the topic, the extent to which this approach is used by decision makers has been unclear. To investigate the degree to which prioritization has been adopted by practitioners to guide conservation implementation, we conducted an online survey, collecting data on the approaches used to develop prioritizations and the reported extent of translation to on?the?ground action. Using a cluster analysis, we identified two categories of prioritizations, those developed to advance the field (42% of responses) and those intended for implementation (58% of responses). Respondents reported 74% of the prioritizations intended for implementation had translated to on?the?ground action. Additionally, we identified strong collaboration between academics and practitioners in prioritization development, suggesting a bridging of the theory?practice gap. We recommend continued collaboration and research into the effectiveness of prioritizations in delivering conservation impacts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/conl.12459
Uncontrolled keywords: decision making, land use planning, marine spatial planning, marxan, research-implementation gap, science-policy interface, systematic conservation planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
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)
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 12 May 2018 14:44 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 17:30 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.