Guidelines for Using Movement Science to Inform Biodiversity Policy

Philip S. Barton, Pia E. Lentini, Erika Alacs, Sana Bau, Yvonne M. Buckley, Emma L. Burns, Don A. Driscoll, Lydia K. Guja, Heini Kujala, José J. Lahoz-Monfort, Alessio Mortelliti, Ran Nathan, Ross Rowe, Annabel L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Substantial advances have been made in our understanding of the movement of species, including processes such as dispersal and migration. This knowledge has the potential to improve decisions about biodiversity policy and management, but it can be difficult for decision makers to readily access and integrate the growing body of movement science. This is, in part, due to a lack of synthesis of information that is sufficiently contextualized for a policy audience. Here, we identify key species movement concepts, including mechanisms, types, and moderators of movement, and review their relevance to (1) national biodiversity policies and strategies, (2) reserve planning and management, (3) threatened species protection and recovery, (4) impact and risk assessments, and (5) the prioritization of restoration actions. Based on the review, and considering recent developments in movement ecology, we provide a new framework that draws links between aspects of movement knowledge that are likely the most relevant to each biodiversity policy category. Our framework also shows that there is substantial opportunity for collaboration between researchers and government decision makers in the use of movement science to promote positive biodiversity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-801
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Connectivity
  • Conservation policy
  • Decision
  • Dispersal
  • Government
  • Impact assessment
  • Intervention
  • Management
  • Migration
  • Restoration
  • Risk assessment
  • Threatened species
  • Translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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