3 years ago

Exceptional responders in conservation

Gerald Post, Jonas Geldmann
Conservation operates within complex systems with incomplete knowledge of the system and the interventions. This frequently results in the inability to find generally applicable solutions to the threats faced by Earth's vanishing wildlife. One approach used in medicine, and the social sciences has been to develop a deeper understanding of the positive outliers. Where such outliers share similar characteristics, they may be considered: “exceptional responders”. Here we present a framework for identifying exceptional responders in conservation. We propose four steps: First, identification of the study system; Second, identification of the response structure; Third, identification of the threshold for exceptionalism; Fourth, identification of commonalities amongst outliers. Evaluating exceptional responders is a method to glean additional information that is often ignored in randomized controlled trials and BACI. Interrogating the contextual factors that contribute to an exceptional outcome allow exceptional responders to become valuable pieces of information leading to unexpected discoveries and novel hypotheses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13006

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