Optimal Design of Conservation Investments
Investment in Practice
|ECOLOGY & ECONOMICS:
We work on a range of problems that examine how
ecology and socioeconomic sciences can be integrated more effectively
to inform conservation strategies. This work spans theoretical and
empirical techniques and examines both biodiversity conservation and
the management of ecosystem services.
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THE OPTIMAL DESIGN OF
Recent examples of our work::
|We develop theoretical principles to inform
design. Some are intended to provoke discussion and critical thinking
within the conservation community. Others are intended to inform policy
and practice more directly. Focal questions for us here concern:
Our recent work in this area has examined the relative effectiveness of
partial (e.g., through easements) acquisition of land for conservation,
as well as the design of payment schemes intended to incentivize
conservation on private land.
- where should conservation investments be
- what types of investment strategy work best in
ecological, social and economic context?
- when investing in a particular site, how should
population dynamics and ecosystem processes inform your conservation
- how effectively do investments made by different conservation
organizations complement one another?
- how can we configure conservation organizations more
effectively to make and manage conservation investments?
- Dumoulin, C., McMillan, T., Stoneman, R., Armsworth P.R. 2014
Locating human resources to reduce the cost of managing networks of
protected areas. Conservation Letters, in press.
- Kroetz, K.,
Sanchirico, J.N., Armsworth P.R., Banzhaf, H.S. 2014. Benefits of the
ballot box for species conservation. Ecology Letters, 17, 294-302.
G.D., Armsworth, P.R. 2013 The ability of landowners and their
cooperatives to gain surplus from conservation contracts: worst-case
scenarios, auctions and conservation objectives. Conservation Biology,
- Lennox, G.D., Gaston, K.J., Acs, S., Dallimer, M.,
Hanley, N., Armsworth P.R. 2013. Continuous conservation investments
and the ability of landowners to gain surplus from conservation
contracts. Ecological Economics, 93, 69-78.
- Thomas, C.D.,
Anderson, B.J., Moilanen, A., Eigenbrod, F., Heinemeyer, A., Quaife,
T., Roy, D.B., Gillings, S., Armsworth, P.R., Gaston, K.J. 2013.
Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation. Ecology Letters, 16,
- Armsworth, P.R., Acs, S., Dallimer, M., Gaston, K.J.,
Hanley, N.D., Wilson, P. 2012. The cost of policy simplification in
conservation incentive programs. Ecology Letters, 15, 406-414.
INVESTMENT IN PRACTICE
Recent examples of our work:
|We are also building the evidence base regarding
investment practices on the ground. This work involves collaborators
including local (e.g., Yorkshire Wildlife Trust) and global
conservation NGOs (e.g., The Nature Conservancy) and a range of public
agencies (e.g., NorthWest Florida Water Management District). Focal questions this time
- how much does conservation cost and how are
costs currently met by different organizations?
- how effectively are existing conservation
deployed given what we know about the distribution of biodiversity and
- what is the evidence that investing in
in a site improves the status of the species and ecosystems found there?
- what is the evidence that investments improve the ecosystem services provided by a site?
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- Armsworth, P.R. 2014. Inclusion of costs in conservation planning
depends on limited data and hopeful assumptions. Annals of the New York
Academy of the Sciences: Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology 2014,
- Dallimer, M., Tinch, D., Hanley, N., Irvine, K.N.,
Rouquette, J.R., Warren, P.H., Maltby, L., Gaston, K.J., Armsworth,
P.R. 2014. Quantifying preferences for the natural world : do monetary
and non-monetary methods agree? Conservation Biology, 28, 404-413.
G.D., Price, F.D., Armsworth, P.R. 2014. Predicting the invadedness of
protected areas. Diversity and Distributions, 20, 430-439.
P.R., Cantu-Salazar, L., Parnell, M., Booth, J.E., Davies, Z.G.,
Stoneman, R. 2013. Opportunities for cost-sharing in conservation:
variation in volunteering effort across protected areas. PLoS One, 8,
- Fishburn, I.S., Boyer, A., Kareiva, P., Gaston, K.J.,
Armsworth, P.R. 2013. Tracking a shift from opportunistic to systematic
patterns of conservation investment by a major land trust. Biological
Conservation, 161, 223-229.
- Armsworth, P.R., Fishburn, I.S.,
Davies, Z.G., Gilbert, J., Leaver, N., Gaston, K.J. 2012. The size,
concentration and growth of biodiversity conservation nonprofits.
BioScience, 62, 271-281.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Recent examples of our work:
fisheries management provide one of the topic areas where
the integration of ecology and economics is arguably most established.
Again, we maintain active interests in this area. In particular, a
number of current projects focus on the design of spatial management
techniques (marine reserves and time-area closures) for managing
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- Bode, M., Armsworth, P.R., Fox, H.E., Bode, L. 2012. Surrogates for
designing marine protected area networks in the absence of connectivity
data. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 466, 155-166.
P.R., Block, B., Eagle, J. & Roughgarden, J.E. 2011. The role of
discounting and dynamics in determining the economic efficiency of
time-area closures. Theoretical Ecology, 4, 513-526.
P.R., Block, B.A., Eagle, J. & Roughgarden, J.E. 2010. The economic
efficiency of a time-area closure to protect spawning bluefin tuna.
Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 36–46.
- Hartman, K., Bode, L.
& Armsworth, P. 2007. The economic optimality of learning from
marine protected areas. Australian & New Zealand Industrial and
Applied Mathematics Journal, 48, C307-C329.