Getting Started

Systematic conservation planning evolved over the last decades to be a guiding framework that can help us understand how to:

  • plan and implement conservation using a range of ecological, social, economic, and political sciences
  • allocate conservation efforts and investment in space and time
  • quantify the impact of our decisions and understand trade-offs
  • identify methods and tools to help with decision-making for planning strategies

 Two foundational books that can help you get started:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below you will find some key research papers and links to helpful resources that offer an introduction to the field of systematic conservation planning and further materials related to getting started with Marxan.

Key References:

Sinclair et al. 2018. The use, and usefulness, of spatial conservation prioritizations

Carwardine et al. 2009. Hitting the target and missing the point: target-based conservation planning in context

Game et al. 2013. Six common mistakes in conservation priority setting

Brown et al. 2013. Effective conservation requires clear objectives and prioritizing actions, not places or species

Mapping Biodiversity Priorities: A practical, science-based approach to national biodiversity assessment and prioritisation to inform strategy and action planning


Conservation Planning Exercise

Marxan is designed to solve the minimum set problem – selecting areas to meet targets with the lowest possible cost. Below is a simple exercise to help you understand this process. 

Instructions

Below is a hypothetical planning area made up of 100 planning units. Each planning unit contains values for three features and also tells us how much the unit costs to conserve it. Click on the planning units below to select or deselect the unit. The goal is to select squares that total to meet the target values with lowest possible cost. When you meet your targets you can compare your results against Marxan’s results. 

Try the activity with and without consideration of spatial compactness and see how your scores, costs and boundaries compare. Thank you to Trevor Wiens from Apropos Information Systems for making this activity available. 

0
0
0
$347
0
0
0
$52
0
0
1
$985
0
0
0
$207
89
0
12
$276
30
48
0
$821
69
4
9
$122
0
0
0
$404
0
0
0
$300
0
0
91
$681
0
0
0
$813
0
0
0
$537
0
0
0
$931
0
0
0
$653
71
43
12
$919
99
0
1
$826
0
0
0
$455
17
0
0
$983
0
0
35
$731
31
0
0
$875
0
0
0
$247
55
40
0
$462
0
0
0
$287
0
2
27
$988
70
0
0
$85
37
0
56
$736
0
0
0
$681
0
0
33
$479
0
41
0
$459
54
0
0
$615
0
0
0
$378
80
8
0
$986
0
47
0
$887
0
0
0
$392
0
78
0
$526
0
0
87
$783
66
0
38
$224
0
0
0
$149
0
0
0
$268
0
91
0
$90
0
0
0
$977
0
0
73
$74
0
60
0
$53
25
79
0
$390
0
0
0
$619
11
0
8
$773
0
0
0
$952
0
0
0
$738
0
0
0
$897
0
0
53
$580
76
34
0
$969
0
90
0
$76
0
84
0
$147
0
0
82
$870
0
72
26
$350
0
0
0
$543
0
0
21
$607
58
0
0
$375
0
0
0
$903
0
54
59
$790
75
0
60
$729
0
0
0
$492
0
0
0
$303
0
0
0
$289
0
0
0
$490
0
0
0
$599
91
0
0
$407
0
0
57
$651
0
42
97
$709
0
0
7
$365
0
0
0
$571
0
37
0
$931
0
0
0
$353
0
0
0
$64
0
0
0
$955
0
0
0
$950
0
0
0
$855
0
23
0
$886
0
41
0
$840
81
0
37
$598
0
0
12
$422
0
0
0
$252
0
0
0
$941
0
53
24
$152
0
72
0
$353
0
93
0
$123
0
0
0
$716
0
23
59
$587
0
0
0
$346
0
0
0
$318
0
0
0
$682
11
0
0
$891
0
14
50
$815
0
0
0
$818
0
0
88
$726
0
0
0
$372
0
0
0
$197
48
0
0
$89
0
0
0
$417
0
76
0
$975
Features Target Current Shortfall  
A 267.4 0 267.4
B 251.2 0 251.2
C 243.0 0 243
Cost: 0
Boundary: + 0
Shortfall Penalty: + 761.6
Your Marxan Score: = 761.6

Marxan Results:

Once you meet your targets Marxan's results will appear here.

This exercise is produced here with the permission and support of: