Making touch choices: Picking the appropriate conservation decision-making tool

Shannon D. Bower, Jacob W. Brownscombe, Kim Birnie-Gauvin, M. I. Ford, A. D. Moraga, R. J. P. Pusiak, E. D. Turenne, A. J. Zolderdo, Steven J. Cooke, J. R. Bennett

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Conservation practitioners face complex challenges due to resource limitations,
biological and socioeconomic trade-offs, involvement of diverse interest
groups, and data deficiencies. To help address these challenges, there are a
growing number of frameworks for systematic decision making. Three prominent frameworks are structured decision making, systematic conservation prioritization, and systematic reviews. These frameworks have numerous conceptual linkages, and offer rigorous and transparent solutions to conservation problems. However, they differ in their assumptions and applicability. Here, we provide guidance on how to choose among these frameworks for solving conservation problems, and how to identify less rigorous techniques when time or data availability limit options. Each framework emphasizes the need for proper problem consideration and formulation, and includes steps for monitoring and evaluation. We recommend clear and documented problem formulation, adopting structured decision-making processes, and archiving results in a global database to support conservation professionals in making evidencebased decisions in the future
Original languageEnglish
JournalConservation Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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