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Keywords:

  • ecoregional conservation assessment;
  • environmental diversity;
  • SE Asia;
  • Wallacea

ABSTRACT

The island of Sulawesi is the largest in Indonesian Wallacea, one of the most important ecoregions in SE Asia and globally. Here, we generate a comprehensive and detailed map of forest type, its condition, and some of its threats, which highlights key forest conservation areas, pinpoints frontlines within them, and provides the basis for the development of more specific objectives. We relied upon a variety of techniques to generate five main descriptors of forest quality: condition, its level of endangerment, its landscape setting, its simulated fate given a simple model of forest change, and its overall size. Using the results of this analysis, we assessed the existing protected areas (PA), recognized by the Indonesian government, and a conservation portfolio (CP) generated by a recently completed Ecoregional Conservation Assessment (ECA). Our map of conservation priorities is congruent with previous conservation activities, although several priority areas were identified outside of the current PA system and should be the focus of strategic protected area development. Our ranking system is simple, transparent, and flexible. Its modular construction will allow local managers to choose among available proxy measures and to add their own conservation values according to specific priorities and desired outcomes. We envision this analysis as the foundation upon which more specific conservation strategies, based upon detailed biotic information as it becomes available, can be developed.