Assessing conservation managements evidence-base: a survey of management-plan compilers in the UK and Australia

Andrew Pullin, TM Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)


Conservation management is becoming increasingly resource intensive as threats to biodiversity grow through habitat destruction, habitat disturbance, and overexploitation. To achieve successful conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, we need to scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions and provide an efficient framework through which scientific evidence can be used to support decision making it? policy and practice. We conducted the first formal assessment of the extent to which scientific evidence is used in conservation management through a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews of compilers of protected-area management plans from major conservation organizations within the United Kingdom and Australia. Our survey results show that scientific information is not being used systematically to support decision making largely because it is not easily accessible to decision makers. This, in combination with limited monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness of management interventions, results in the majority of decisions being based on experience rather than on evidence. To address this problem we propose using an evidence-based framework, adapted from that used in The health services and explain how we are currently putting an equivalent framework into practice by establishing review and dissemination Units to serve The conservation sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1989-1996
Number of pages8
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • environmental management
  • decision support
  • biodiversity conservation
  • conservation policy
  • systematic review


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