UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Data-driven counterfactual evaluation of management outcomes to improve emergency conservation decisions

McMurdo Hamilton, Thalassa; Ewen, John; Beauchamp, AJ; Makan, T; Rowcliffe, Marcus; Canessa, Stefano; (2022) Data-driven counterfactual evaluation of management outcomes to improve emergency conservation decisions. Conservation Letters , Article e12925. 10.1111/conl.12925. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of Rowcliffe_Conservation Letters - 2022 - McMurdo Hamilton - Data‐driven counterfactual evaluation of management outcomes to improve.pdf]
Preview
Text
Rowcliffe_Conservation Letters - 2022 - McMurdo Hamilton - Data‐driven counterfactual evaluation of management outcomes to improve.pdf

Download (779kB) | Preview

Abstract

Monitoring is needed to assess conservation success and improve management, but naïve or simplistic interpretation of monitoring data can lead to poor decisions. We illustrate how to counter this risk by combining decision-support tools and quantitative counterfactual analysis. We analyzed 20 years of egg rescue for tara iti (Sternula nereis davisae) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Survival is lower for rescued eggs; however, only eggs perceived as imminently threatened by predators or weather are rescued, so concluding that rescue is ineffective would be biased. Equally, simply assuming all rescued eggs would have died if left in situ is likely to be simplistic. Instead, we used the monitoring data itself to estimate statistical support for a wide space of uncertain counterfactuals about decisions and fate of rescued eggs. Results suggest under past management, rescuing and leaving eggs would have led to approximately the same overall fledging rate, because of likely imperfect threat assessment and low survival of rescued eggs to fledging. Managers are currently working to improve both parameters. Our approach avoids both naïve interpretation of observed outcomes and simplistic assumptions that management is always justified, using the same data to obtain unbiased quantitative estimates of counterfactual support.

Type: Article
Title: Data-driven counterfactual evaluation of management outcomes to improve emergency conservation decisions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/conl.12925
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12925
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Confusion matrix, decision making, decision tree, endangered species, hindsight bias, impact evaluation, nest management, uncertainty
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155925
Downloads since deposit
11Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item