Uncovering opportunities for effective species conservation banking requires navigating technical and practical complexities

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pIn the USA, Species Conservation Banking is a prominent example of compensatory biodiversity impact mitigation, with an annual market value estimated at US$354.2 million. Species Conservation Banking represents a useful case study of a well‐established program that can provide empirical insights into the practicalities of implementing quantitative compensatory biodiversity mitigation on‐the‐ground. Using semi‐structured key‐informant interviews structured around well‐established technical challenges to compensatory mitigation, this study aimed to understand (i) how and why these challenges are or are not addressed in practice; and (ii) how these challenges relate to practical challenges faced by conservation banking stakeholders on‐the‐ground. Challenges identified included: (i) defining trading currencies and equivalence, (ii) regulatory and political uncertainty, (iii) regulatory agency capacity, will and knowledge, (iv) lack of policies, standards, and competition with other mitigation mechanisms, (v) long‐term uncertainty/longevity, and (vi) lack of species knowledge and data transparency. These challenges are numerous, diverse, interlinked and transdisciplinary, and collectively inhibit the ability of practitioners to resolve underlying technical challenges—a finding likely applicable to related biodiversity offset programs. To help address challenges and navigate this complexity, we formulate several recommendations for conservation banking stakeholders to improve the chances of beneficial biodiversity outcomes being achieved.</jats:p>

biodiversity offsets, compensatory mitigation, endangered species act, listed species, mitigation hierarchy, no net loss
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Conservation Science and Practice
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