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Identification of Prime Butterfly Areas in Turkey using systematic conservation planning: Challenges and opportunities

Zeydanli, Ugur S.
Turak, Ayse S.
Balkiz, Ozge
ÖZÜT, Deniz
WELCH, Hilary
Karacetin, Evrim
Ambarli, Didem
DURMUŞ, Mustafa
Bilgin, Cemal Can
Butterflies are among the most sensitive groups to environmental changes and are prime subjects for many conservation studies. It is essential to conserve butterflies through identifying important sites, namely "Prime Butterfly Areas" (PBAs). Using distribution data of 358 butterfly species, we have identified 65 PBAs in Turkey. Selection of important sites for a single taxon is generally performed using a scoring based system, yet in this study we have adopted Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) approach. The efficiency of SCP approach, the explicit site prioritization process it provides, and the presence of an established SCP system in Turkey has led to this decision. However, regardless of the system used, to secure effective implementation, conceptual and operational subjects should be considered simultaneously. In majority of the cases, the emphasis is given to the methodological details of conservation assessments and effective tools for implementation are not produced. Therefore, while determining PBAs, rather than following the SCP procedure in a strict manner, we have incorporated elements of other site selection approaches into our study for the adoption and use of the outputs by stakeholders. With this study, we discussed how different stages of the PBA identification process (e.g. setting conservation targets, scoring species, determining the initial and optimal site sets and prioritization) should be handled to ensure implementation. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.