Effectiveness of current Approaches to Identifying
Priority Conservation Areas
New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
PO Box 402 Armidale NSW 2350 Australia
Two weeks at the centre from 10 feb to 22 feb included the following activities:
- Two formal seminars on past, current and planned work on conservation
planning in New South Wales.
- Demonstration of software system used in 1996 and currently to make
decisions on new conservation areas. The system lays out the options for
achieving explicit conservation targets (set as areas of each vegetation
type or species range) and allows stakeholders to negotiate configurations
of conservation areas. The system led to over 800,000 of public forest being
deferred from logging in 1996 as well as nine new nature reserves and
national parks being declared. Beginning in about July 1997, it will be used
to plan new reserves throughout the State.
- Discussions about the concept of irreplaceability in conservation
planning, its measurement or estimation, and its applications.
- Informal discussions with staff and visiting researchers at both NCEAS and
the Department of Geography, UCSB to exchange ideas on current projects and
future directions in research on systematic conservation planning.
- Arrangements for involvement in a planned NCEAS working group on
conservation planning in the Intermountain Semidesert Ecoregion.
- Discussions about a long term research project involving collaboration
between the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, UCSB and
NCEAS. The project would investigate the development of computerised
decision support systems that would change the goals of conservation
planning away from targets for representation of species or communities in
reserves toward targets for the persistence of species or communities in the
landscape, whether or not those features were reserved. Such a system would
have two major advantages for conservation planning:
- it would address the fundamental goal of nature conservation
(persistence) much more directly;
- it would allow the effects of different development and reservation
scenarios to be assessed in terms of their effects on the persistence of