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Alternative Configurations of Conservation Reserves for Paraguayan Bats: Considerations of Spatial Scale

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The application of systematic and quantitative approaches to conservation planning is increasing, but the quality and quantity of data available to planners remains inadequate. We used two databases on bat species distributions at 25 sites in Paraguay to illustrate some of the effects of the spatial scale of sampling and data quality on decisions about reserve siting. We used a simulated annealing algorithm to identify alternative scenarios for comprehensive representation of the nation's bat fauna within a system of reserves and to evaluate the contribution of existing protected areas in Paraguay to this conservation goal. The location, efficiency, and level of protection (i.e., the number of populations of each species protected) were affected by both spatial scale and source of data. Our results suggest that systematic and intensive biodiversity surveys are an important element of efficient conservation planning for biodiversity conservation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, 735 State Street, Suite 300, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, U.S.A.

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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