What Works in Conservation 2015

What Works in Conservation 2015
William J. Sutherland, Lynn V. Dicks, Nancy Ockendon & Rebecca K. Smith
Publisher:  OpenBook Publishers, Cambridge
Page Count:  372
ISBN Number:  978-1-78374-158-8

This book provides a quick reference guide to the latest and most relevant scientific studies into many different types of conservation management techniques and interventions.  It aims not to make recommendations but to assist land managers and conservationists to make informed decisions about conservation policy or management decisions.

The effectiveness of each of the different management actions is categorised in summary tables based on ‘captures’ from over 4,000 existing scientific evidence summaries. The categories are then rated according to their effectiveness and range from habitat management to providing supplementary food for declining bird species. There is a brief explanation about each rating and a link to the “Conservation Evidence” [www.conservationevidence.com] website from which the various summaries can be downloaded. There is also a reference on the website to the relevant study.

It is quite striking how many examples have no rating due to a limited or lack of evidence. What is more, many of these are techniques widely used in species and habitat management, including management prescriptions found in agri-environment schemes.

This book successfully collates the pros and cons of a wide range of conservation techniques based on available scientific evidence. It also highlights the need for more research to be done, not least into some of the more basic procedures.

Chris Gregory