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Resources for conserving biodiversity are invariably insufficient. This situation creates the need for transparent, systematic frameworks to help stakeholders prioritize the allocation of resources across multiple management actions. Together with members from the Conservation Planning Group, various stakeholders (Cape York Sustainable FuturesQueensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, and Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council) and the University of Helsinki, I  have developed a novel framework that explicitly prioritizes actions to minimize the impacts of several threats across a species’ range.

The framework uses a budget constraint and maximizes conservation outcomes from a set of management actions, accounting for the likelihood of the action being successfully applied and accepted by local and Indigenous communities. This approach is novel in that it integrates local knowledge and expert opinion with optimization software, thereby minimizing assumptions about likelihood of success of actions and their effectiveness. To test the framework, we used the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait population of the flatback turtle, Natator depressus, as a case study.

Fuentes MMPB, Blackwood J, Jones B, Kim M, Leis B, Limpus CJ, Marsh H, Mitchell J, Pouzols FM, Pressey RL, Visconti P (2015) A decision framework for prioritizing multiple management actions for threatened marine megafauna. Ecological Applications. 25, 200 -214.

This work was funded by Save Our Seas Foundation and the Australian Research Council.