Abstract: Resources for conserving biodiversity are invariably insufficient. This situation creates the need for transparent systematic frameworks to help stakeholders prioritise the allocation of resources across multiple management actions. This issue is particularly important for threatened species, such as marine turtles that have complex life histories and are exposed to multiple threats at each of their life stages. These species require different management actions for threats and areas specific to each life stage. In this presentation, I will discuss the complexities and approaches undertaken to prioritise marine turtle management under different contexts and locations. First, I will describe a novel framework that I developed to explicitly prioritise actions to minimise the impacts of several threats across the range used by the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait flatback turtle population. The framework uses a budget constraint and maximises the expected improvement in species persistence resulting from a set of management actions, accounting for the likelihood of the action being successfully applied and accepted by local and Indigenous communities. The framework can be adapted easily to a wide range of species, geographical scales, and life stages. I will then relate the approaches being undertaken by a new research project in Brazil to guide the prioritisation of hawksbill and loggerhead turtle management as climate change progresses.
Biography: Mariana is an ARC Super Science postdoctoral fellow in Program 6 (Conservation Planning for a Sustainable Future) where she is developing a decision framework for prioritising multiple management strategies for the management of marine megafauna. Mariana’s research is broadly focused on developing science-based solutions for the conservation and management of marine megafauna, especially in a changing world. Her research draws together a wide range of disciplines and she often works closely with various stakeholders on interdisciplinary research topics and management issues. Her expertise is in integrating field-based ecology with systematic conservation planning, decision-theory approaches, climate modelling and applied qualitative and geographic spatial analysis.