Introducing the ‘Cost-Effective Resource Allocator’: a free tool for prioritising management actions

The ‘Cost-Effective Resource Allocator’ is an Excel-based tool for supporting natural resource managers in deciding which management actions will generate the greatest benefit for threatened species in their protected area.  The tool can help park managers anywhere in the world to choose actions that assist multiple species of concern.  

The philosophy of the tool relies on the idea of cost-effectiveness – how can a park manager obtain the biggest return on investment for species conservation from their limited budgets? Not only does it drive efficiency, it can be used to ask for new resources that will deliver the greatest return on investment.  This research builds on a body of work by the University of Queensland and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation going back to 2008: including Joseph et al. 2009Carwardine et al. 2011, Firn et al. 2015, and Di Fonzo et al. 2016 amongst others.

This tool was developed in collaboration with Parks Australia using a case study of four species from Christmas Island National Park: a native fern (Pneumatopteris truncata), the Christmas Island Red Crab (Gecarcoidea natalis), the Golden Bosun (Phaethon lepturus fulvus), and Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti).

The research was supported by the Australian Federal Environment Department’s National Environmental Research Program funding scheme, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, and the United States National Science Foundation Decision, Risk and Management Sciences funding.


The guide to the tool is published in issue 23.1 of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)’s journal, PARKS.
The tool can be downloaded here:  Appendix-S1. Cost-Effective Resource Allocator.xlsx

Reference: Di Fonzo, M.M.I., Nicol, S., Possingham, H. P., Flakus, S., West, J. G., Failing, L., Long, G., and Walshe, T. 2017. Cost-Effective Resource Allocator: A decision support tool for threatened species management. PARKS 23.1, 101-113, doi: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2017.PARKS-23-1MMIDF.en


Golden Bosun

Abbott's booby

Abbott’s Booby

1 thought on “Introducing the ‘Cost-Effective Resource Allocator’: a free tool for prioritising management actions

  1. Pingback: Dbytes #285 (27 April 2017) | Dbytes

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