Approaches to Species Conservation

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“The surrogate species approach is the most cost effective means for establishing national and global conservation priorities.” Conservationists are challenged with the problem of protecting a range of species at minimal costs. As such conservationists have to prioritize to help those in most need of assistance or trouble (Myers et al. 2000). Therefore, many conservationists have adopted the surrogate species approach as a shortcut to aid with the conservation priority decision (Caro and O’ Doherty 1999). The surrogate species approach usually employs one or few species to address conservation issues (Thomas 1972; Cairns et al. 1979; Panwar 1984; Wilcox 1984; Jarvinen 1985; Bibby et al. 1992). Additionally, surrogate species are frequently used to capture public attention and secure funds for urgent environmental issues (Dietz et al. 1994). The magnitude and severity of different types of human activities and changes in population of other species are monitored and predicted through the use of surrogate species (Burdick et al. 1989; Stolte and Mangis 1992; D.H Mc Kenzie et al. 1992). Lastly, surrogate species are used to determine locations characterized by high biodveristy (Ricketts et al. 1999). According to Caro and O’Doherty (1999) there are three main classes of surrogate species. They are indicator species, umbrella species and flagship species. Landres et al. (1988) defined indicator species as species whose attributes are used as a substitute for other species whose attributes are difficult to define and measure. There are different types of indicator species based on conservation goals. Some common indicator type :are health indicators, population indicators and biodiversity indicators (Caro and O’Doherty 1999). Health indicators are used to measure changes in the environment such as habitat change (Caro and O’Doherty 1999). Population indicators are used to compare and monitor changes in other species (Caro and O’Doherty 1999)....
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