Download an overview and frequently asked questions about Marxan and PacMARA's capacity-building program here!
Marxan is the most widely used conservation planning software in the world
Marxan was created by researchers at the University of Queensland to provide decision support for a range of conservation planning problems, including the design of new reserve systems, reporting on the performance of existing reserve systems, and developing multiple-use zoning plans for natural resource management.
Marxan is flexible, since can be applied to a wide range of problems such as reserve design and natural resource management in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems. It is also efficient and repeatable, as it provides many good solutions to complex problems, providing a number of options and encouraging stakeholder participation. These features provide users with decision support to achieve an efficient allocation of resources across a range of different uses.
The software allows users to:
Identify areas that efficiently meet targets for a range of biodiversity features for minimal cost
Use the principle of complementarity to select planning units which complement the conservation area network (the whole is more than the sum of its parts)
Meet spatial requirements such as compactness of a reserve system
Include data on ecological processes, threats, and condition
Identify tradeoffs between conservation and socio-economic objectives
Generate a number of very good solutions
PacMARA Marxan Training
We have held Introduction to Marxan courses around North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa since 2010. For current course plans, please visit the course page and advise us if you would like to join a course or suggest a venue near you!
To download instructions for installing Marxan and related programs, please click here.
Our Train the Trainers course in Ottawa certified the first five Marxan trainers in North America in July 2010. In December 2011 we held the second Train the Trainers course where five new Marxan instructors were trained.
Intermediate Marxan and Marxan with Zones training is currently being developed. Please let us know if you are interested in this course-to-be.
Please tell us when and where you would like to be trained by emailing us at hcoleman (at) pacmara.org or nserra (at) pacmara.org
The Big Picture of How Marxan fits into Systematic Conservation Planning
We have worked closely with The Ecology Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia and with Marxan users worldwide to develop these documents to support better understanding of use of Marxan Software.
This wiki is not the official version of these documents, but is an effort to facilitate the further improvement of both documents by the community of Marxan users. If you would like to register as an editor of these documents contact us at . In your email please outline your Marxan experience and provide us with your contact information.
Or, if you prefer anonymity, log-in as a user (upper right side of this page) and you can post comments to one of the discussion forums linked to the interactive pages below.
ArcMarxan toolbox for ArcGIS v.10.2 (and above), and QMarxan toolboxes for QGIS 2.14 (and above)- **NEW** Marxan plugins developed by Trevor Wiens from Apropos
With these tools you can generate basic Marxan input files and visualize results. For more information visit Apropos website here.
The CLUZ tools - QGIS plug-in for Marxan
CLUZ (Conservation Land-Use? Zoning software) is a QGIS is an experimental plug-in that allows users to design protected area networks and other conservation landscapes and seascapes. It can be used for on-screen planning and also acts as a link for the Marxan conservation planning software. It was developed by Bob Smith.
CLUZ is available for download through the QGIS Plugins Manager. CLUZ has been tested on QGIS v2.6 and above. For more information visit Bob Smith's Website here.
Download ArcGIS geoprocessing tools (Note that these tools were created for ArcGIS 9.3)
Scripts developed by David Tellier of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources help with the following tasks:
convert Marxan’s input/output text files into tables in an existing ArcGIS personal or file geodatabase;
generate hexagons; and
generate planning unit files from polygon feature classes.
Linke, S., Watts, M., Steward, R., Possingham, P. 2011. Using multivariate analysis to deliver conservation planning products that align with practitioner needs. Ecography 34:203 - 207. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06351.x.
Green, A., Smith, S.E., Lipsett-Moore?, G., et al. 2009. Designing a resilient network of marine protected areas for Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Oryx 43: 488-498. DOI:10.1017/S0030605309990342.
Klein, C.J., Steinback, C., Watts, M., Scholz, A.J., Possingham, H.P. 2009. Spatial marine zoning for fisheries and conservation. Front Ecol Environ. DOI:10.1890/090047.
Klein, C. Wilson, K., Watts, M., et al. 2009. Incorporating ecological and evolutionary processes into continental-scale conservation planning. Ecological Applications 19: 206-217. DOI:10.1890/07-1684.1.
Klein, C.J., Steinback, C., Scholz, A.J., Possingham, H.P. 2008. Effectiveness of marine reserve networks in representing biodiversity and minimizing impact to fishermen: a comparison of two approaches used in California. Conservation Letters 1: 44–51. DOI:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00005.x.
Smith, R.J., Easton, J., Nhancale, B.A. 2008. Designing a transfrontier conservation landscape for the Maputaland centre of endemism using biodiversity, economic and threat data. Biological Conservation 141: 2127-2138. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2008.06.010.
Fernandes, L., Day, J., Lewis, A., et al. 2005. Establishing Representative No-Take? Areas in the Great Barrier Reef: Large-Scale? Implementation of Theory on Marine Protected Areas. Conservation Biology 19: 1733–1744. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00302.x.
Fischer, D.T., Church, R.L. 2005. The SITES reserve selection system: A critical review. Environmental Modeling and Assessment 10: 215-228. DOI:10.1007/s10666-005-9005-7.
Rondinini, C., Stuart, S., Boitanu, L. 2005. Habitat Suitability Models and the Shortfall in Conservation Planning for African Vertebrates. Conservation Biology 19: 1488-1497. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00204.x.
Stewart, R., Possingham, H. 2005. Efficiency, costs and trade-offs in marine reserve system design. Environmental Modeling and Assessment 10: 203-213. DOI:10.1007/s10666-005-9001-y.
References about the influence of planning unit size on the conservation planning outputs.
Bruno A. Nhancale, B.A. and Robert J. Smith, R.J. 2011. The influence of planning unit characteristics on the efficiency and spatial pattern of systematic conservation planning assessments. Biology & Conservation 20 (8): 1821-1835. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0063-7.
Regan, H.M., Ensbey, M.J., Burgman, M., 2009. Conservation Prioritization and Uncertainty in Planning Inputs, in Moilanen, A., Wilson, K.A., Possingham, H.P. (Eds.), Spatial Conservation Prioritization. New York, Oxford University Press.
Pressey, R.L., Possingham, H.P., Logan, V.S., Day, J.R., Williams, P.H., 1999. Effects of data characteristics on the results of reserve selection algorithms. Journal of Biogeography 26, 179–191. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2699.1999.00258.x.
Pressey, R.L., Bedward M., 1991. Mapping the environment at different scales: benefits and costs for nature conservation, in: C.R. Margules, Austin M.P. (Eds.), Nature Conservation: Cost Effective Biological Surveys and Data Analysis. CSIRO, Melbourne.
Pressey, R.L., Logan, V.S., 1998. Size of selection units for future reserves and actual vs targeted representation of features: western New South Wales its influence on a case study in New South Wales. Biological Conservation 85, 305-309. DOI:10.1016/S0006-3207(97)00146-8.
Pressey, R.L., Logan, V.S., 1994. Levels of geographical subdivision and its effects on assessments of reserve coverage: a review of regional studies. Conservation Biology 8, 1037-1046. DOI: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.1994.08041037.x.
INVEMAR, TNC, CI, UAESPNN. 2009. Informe Tecnico: Planificacion ecorregional para la conservacion in situ de la biodiversidad marina y costera en el Caribe y Pacifico continental colombiano. Alonso, D., Ramirez, L. F., Segura- Quintero, C., Castillo-Torres?, P., Diaz, J.M., Walschburger, T. y N. Arango. Serie de Documentos Generales No. 41. Santa Marta. 106p + Anexos.
Gutierrez-Moreno?, C., Alonso, D. Segura-Quintero?, C. 2008. Diseño de un área marina protegida para bahía Portete – La Guajira, Caribe colombiano. Boletín de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras. 37(2) 189-212. ISSN 0122-9761.
Theses, Technical, Government, and NGO Reports Using Marxan
Olson, L.T. 2010. The Influence of Analysis Design on Systematic Conservation Planning. Ph.D. Dissertation. high reslow res