Publication details.


Author(s):A. Martinez-Abrain, D. Oro,
Title:Preventing the development of dogmatic approaches in conservation biology: A review
JCR Impact Factor:4.036
Abstract:The application of management practices based on dogmas may lead to unexpected results, and hence to the bad allocation of economic resources. This is an especially relevant subject today given that, in a context of deep economic crisis, conservation has very limited resources. Here, we review e-alerts from 20 of the most important journals in the field of applied conservation ecology to identify topics that are vulnerable to dogma development, and then to suggest strategies to prevent this to happen. After examining 525 pre-selected papers, we identified several major questions within the sphere of some of the main agents of anthropogenic global change based on 129 papers. Specifically we reviewed knowledge accumulated during recent decades on the resilience of wildlife to cope with two of those agents, namely (a) habitat fragmentation, alteration and loss; and (b) the arrival of exotic invasive species. We critically discuss four common conservation questions within those two major areas: the pros and cons of supplementary feeding for conservation purposes, the ubiquity of the detrimental effect of invasive species and the feasibility of its eradication, as well as the efficiency of controlling generalist predators for both game and conservation purposes. We finally provide a list of five good practices to prevent the generation of dogma when applying the science of conservation biology to the abovementioned agents of global change, and as a way of optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of biodiversity management. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.