How do you design a nature reserve that most effectively protects biodiversity given limited resources?
Complex natural resource management problems can have millions of potential solutions- how do you choose one that meets all of your goals?
Marxan is software that delivers decision support for conservation planning. It was designed to help inform the selection of new conservation areas for minimal cost, and facilitate the exploration of trade-offs between conservation and socio-economic objectives. Marxan can help set priorities for conservation action by highlighting those places that are likely to be important inclusions in an efficient reserve network. Marxan can also be employed as a tool for evaluating how well existing reserve networks achieve the goals of representativeness and comprehensiveness.
Marxan is the most widely used conservation planning tool in the world and is used by more than 1300 users in over 80 countries worldwide. The software has contributed to several major conservation projects; it underpinned the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia and informed the design of marine protected areas for the Channel Islands in California.