Providing evidence to improve practice


Conservation Evidence is a free, authoritative information resource designed to support decisions about how to maintain and restore global biodiversity. We summarise evidence from the scientific literature about the effects of conservation interventions such as methods of habitat or species management. Expert panels are then asked to assess the effectiveness (or not) of interventions, based on the summarized evidence (for more details see FAQ What Works in Conservation). We also publish new evidence in our online journal Conservation Evidence.

Our ongoing review process extracts evidence continually from 30 important conservation journals (such as Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Oryx; for more details see Synopses methods 'Finding evidence') and from systematic reviews published by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. We also search through more specialist journals and unpublished literature to focus on particular species groups or habitats (for more details see Synopses methods 'Finding evidence'). So far we have searched over 180 journals.

As well as the existing synopses, we are currently developing synopses of evidence on the conservation of carnivores, management of captive animals, primates, reptiles, wetlands and biodiversity and ecosystem services in Mediterranean farmland (see the methods page).

The idea is to give conservationists easy access to the latest and most relevant knowledge to support their conservation policy or management decisions. Simply search for your species, habitat or issue of interest. Our site will present you with a list of possible actions you could take, along with a plain English summary of the available evidence for whether each one is effective (or not). It will also provide expert assessment of the effectiveness, based on the summarized evidence.

We do not make recommendations. This is because it is difficult to give evidence-based conservation advice that is appropriate for every context. Instead, we provide evidence and an assessment of that evidence, which should be interpreted by conservationists who understand their own site and national or regional situation.

Conservation Evidence is based at the University of Cambridge, UK, with collaborators and advisers in all continents of the world. The project was conceived by William J. Sutherland and is managed by Rebecca K Smith. For the rest of our team see FAQ Who are the Conservation Evidence team?

Conservation Evidence has received funding from the British Ecological Society, Arcadia, MAVA, the Natural Environment Research Council, Natural England, the Economic and Social Research Council, Synchronicity EarthThe Nature Conservancy, A.G Leventis Foundation and Waitrose Ltd.