Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Keith Bosak

Commitee Members

Sarah Halvorson, Diep Dao, Aníbal Pauchard


Representativeness, gap analysis, private protected area, integrated protected area network, systematic conservation planning, conservation


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Biodiversity | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Geographic Information Sciences | Latin American Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


Chile's state designated protected areas are reported to show representation bias and to be unable to meet conservation goals. Private protected areas are considered an important tool to resolve these issues, which has led to support for increasing the role of private protected areas in Chile and creating an integrated public-private protected area network. But the validity of the capacity of private protected areas to fix Chile's state protected area network bias, and the advantage of creating an integrated protected area network, have not been assessed. This study uses the most recent data on Chile's state, private, and international protected areas to conduct a GIS gap analysis to measure the representativeness of Chile's terrestrial ecoregions under four scenarios. Scenario 1 assesses state protected areas including SNASPE and public and private nature sanctuaries. Scenario 2 assesses Scenario 1 and private protected areas. Scenario 3 assesses Scenario 1 and international protected areas. Scenario 4 assesses state, private, and international protected areas. All scenarios show representation bias and failure to protect the most threatened Chilean matorral and Atacama Desert ecoregions. State protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile. Private protected areas show representation bias similar to state protected areas. Both private and international protected areas do little to fix state representation bias or help Chile reach conservation goals. Based on the findings of this study and an assessment of other private protected area limitations, an integrated protected area network may not be the most appropriate method of fixing state protected area network representation bias, protecting priority conservation areas, meeting conservation goals, enhancing the overall effectiveness of Chile's protected area networks. Rather, this study points to other interventions that would be appropriate for the Chilean context, including finding a new best fit for private protected areas, creating a private protected area institute, and expanding the state protected area network through the increased and systematic designation of private nature sanctuaries.



© Copyright 2015 Jessica Schutz