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All Ebook Formats $36.99 ISBN: 9781597269599 Published June 2010
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Conservation by Proxy

Indicator, Umbrella, Keystone, Flagship, and Other Surrogate Species

 Conservation by Proxy
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Tim Caro

400 pages | 54 figures, 64 tables | 6 x 9
The vast scope of conservation problems has forced biologists and managers to rely on "surrogate" species to serve as shortcuts to guide their decision making. These species-known by a host of different terms, including indicator, umbrella, and flagship species-act as proxies to represent larger conservation issues, such as the location of biodiversity hotspots or general ecosystem health.
Synthesizing an immense body of literature, conservation biologist and field researcher Tim Caro offers systematic definitions of surrogate species concepts, explores biological theories that underlie them, considers how surrogate species are chosen, critically examines evidence for and against their utility, and makes recommendations for their continued use. The book
  • clarifies terminology and contrasts how different terms are used in the real world
  • considers the ecological, taxonomic, and political underpinnings of these shortcuts
  • identifies criteria that make for good surrogate species
  • outlines the circumstances where the application of the surrogate species concept shows promise
Conservation by Proxy is a benchmark reference that provides clear definitions and common understanding of the evidence and theory behind surrogate species. It is the first book to review and bring together literature on more than fifteen types of surrogate species, enabling us to assess their role in conservation and offering guidelines on how they can be used most effectively.

"Surrogate species have been a holy grail for establishing conservation targets and measureing success. Conservation by Proxy distinguishes precise definitions from buzzwords, which is essential for credible application of concepts to practice. Compelling examples are drawn from virtually every ecosystem and level of biological organization. This impressive synthesis will promote both honesty about the inferences surrogates can provide and consideration of alternative metrics for assessing environmental status and trends."

Erica Fleishman, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara

"Caro cleans up terminology and infrequently tested hypotheses to produce an insightful account of core ideas in conservation. Practitioners will benefit from his conceptual clarity when planning their conservation actions."

Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Consrvation Ecology, Duke University

"Tim Caro brings order to a long-neglected area of conservation with remarkably lucid logic."

Hugh Possingham, Professor of Ecology and Mathematics, University of Queensland, Australia

"Surrogate species are used to represent other species populations, a subset of species, or aspects of various environments...The concept involves many terms or buzzwords: focus, keystone, umbrella, target, foundation, flagship, engineering, and others, all loosely used and ill defined.  The objective is to bring clarity and consistency in their use and to assess their usefulness relative to specific conservation objectives.  Caro (wildlife, fish, and conservation bioloy, Univ. of California, Davis) succeeds in accomplishing this goal...This is a needed reference for conservation biologists to study and consult before employing the surrogate species concept to meet their objectives. Summing Up:  Recommended.  Graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals."
R.L. Smith, emeritus, West Virginia University, CHOICE

"... In this book, Tim Caro ably compiles and dissects in one compact source the large body of literature about surrogate species in conservation biology. ... The book is well written and richly referenced, with 65 pages of citations; this section alone renders the book a valuable addition to one's conservation library. The author deftly employs this vast literature in well-developed examples in the text, tables, and figures. ... Conservation by Proxy offers an invaluable contribution to the literature of conservation biology. I highly recommend it for academics or students involved with surrogates, as well as anyone grappling with biodiversity conservation or quantifying effects of environmental change. Caro offers not only a timely, thorough journey through the realm of surrogates, but also an effective and less costly alternative to these proxies."
Mary M. Rowland, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Ecology

"The book can be recommended to anyone with a deep interest in the fate of biological diversity and its conservation. It is clearly written with examples presented from all over the plant and animal kingdom. Furthermore it is nicely illustrated with numerous drawings, figures and tables... To sum up, if you are a conservation biologist, this is indeed a book you need to have on your own bookshelves and not borrow quickly from the library. It will prove to be useful repeatedly."
Anette Baur, Basic and Applied Ecology



Chapter 1. Buzzwords in Conservation Biology
Surrogate species in systematic conservation
Difficulties in surrogate typology


Chapter 2. Species Indicators of Biodiversity at a Large Scale
A big picture
Congruency of species richness
Congruency of endemism
Congruency of rarity
Congruency of threatened species
Complementarity and congruency
Concordance between measures of biodiversity
Biodiversity distribution and protected areas
Practical application


Chapter 3. Species Indicators of Biodiversity in Reserve Selection
A smaller scale
Cross-taxon congruence of species richness
With-taxon congruence of species richness
Congruency of endemism, congruency of rarity, and congruency of threatened species
Concordance between measures of biodiversity
Congruency of complementarity
Protected area coverage
Marine reserve prioritization
Environmental surrogates
Practical issues


Chapter 4. Umbrella Species and Landscape Species
Three conservation goals
Lambeck’s insight
Umbrella species by taxon
Choosing an appropriate umbrella species
Problems with umbrella species
Management implications
Landscape species

Chapter 5. Keystone, Engineering and Foundation Species
The keystone species concept
Ecosystem engineers
Foundation species
Management issues


Chapter 6. Environmental Indicator Species
Ecosystem health and biological integrity
Environmental indicators
Examples of the uses of environmental indicator species
Proliferation and obfuscation of terms

Chapter 7. Ecological Disturbance Indicator Species
Effects of disturbance
Proposed criteria for indicator species
Single species and species-groups as indicators of disturbance
Examples of the use of species-groups in documenting effects of land-use change
Changes in populations over time
Determining the number of species-groups
Management pointers

Chapter 8. Cross-taxon Response Indicator Species
Habitat alteration
Fora for cross-taxon-response indicator species
Intraguild-response indicator species
Population changes
Management indicator species
Early warnings
Substitute species
Problems with cross-taxon-response indicator species


Chapter 9. Flagship Species
Characteristics of flagship species
Multiple objectives
Are flagship species successful?
Qualities of flagship species
Iconic species
What’s next?


Chapter 10. Surrogate Species in the Real World
Surrogate categories
Distribution of biodiversity
Reserve site selection
Reserve design and management
Species indicators of anthropogenic change
Promoting conservation

Scientific Names of Species Mentioned in the Text
Subject Index

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