Protected areas are a cornerstone of local, regional, and global strategies for the conservation of biodiversity. However, the ecological performance of these areas, both in terms of the representation and the maintenance of key biodiversity features, remains poorly understood. A large and rapidly expanding literature bears on these issues, but it is highly fragmented, principally comprises particular case studies, and employs a diverse array of approaches. Here we provide a synthetic review of this work, discriminating between issues of performance of inventory and condition at the scale of individual protected areas, portfolios, and networks of protected areas. We emphasize the insights that follow and the links between the different issues, as well as highlight the major problems that remain unresolved.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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