The University of Queensland Homepage
Welcome to the Marxan Homepage You are at the Marxan website
Getting Started
About Marxan

What you can do with Marxan:

  • Identify areas that efficiently meet targets for a range of biodiversity features for minimal cost
  • Use the principle of complementarity to select planning units which complement the conservation area network (the whole is more than the sum of its parts);
  • Meet spatial requirements such as compactness of a reserve system;
  • Include data on ecological processes, threats, and condition;
  • Identify tradeoffs between conservation and socio-economic objectives; and
  • Generate a number of very good solutions. 
How has Marxan been used?
Marxan has been used to support the design of marine and terrestrial reserves worldwide.  Marxan can assist with the evaluation of existing reserve systems to identify gaps in biodiversity protection, identify areas to include in new reserve systems, and provide decision support by producing a number of different options that meet both socio-economic and conservation objectives. Marxan has also been used to support multiple-use zoning plans that balance the varied interests of stakeholders.

Why use systematic conservation planning tools like Marxan?
The practice of conservation planning has generally not been systematic and new reserves have often been located in places that do not contribute to the representation of biodiversity. Decisions about both on- and off- reserve conservation (if they are not to be ad hoc) should be guided by explicit goals, an understanding of current and future threats and priorities, and provide clear choices between alternative forms of management. Marxan incorporates best scientific information and makes the costs and benefits of alternative decisions clear, leading to more informed decision making.  In addition, having multiple solutions to choose from helps in stakeholder driven decision making processes.

Is Marxan data hungry ?
How much time you choose to invest in acquiring data can be highly variable and will largely depend on whether you are risk adverse to uncertainty or biases in your dataset. Marxan includes or excludes planning units in a conservation network based on information about the distribution of conservation features across your planning region. Marxan does not consider uncertainty in the data so the quality of what you put in is reflected in the results generated.
Different types of planning units.

Marxan at Work
The Nature Conservancy used Marxan to create this prioritization of marine conservation zones in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea.

Join the Marxan
Mailing List