11:32 am - Monday May 28, 2012

Conservation Biology

Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth’s biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on sciences, economics, and the practice of natural resource management.

The rapid decline of established biological systems around the world means that conservation biology is often referred to as a “Discipline with a deadline”. Conservation biology is tied closely to ecology in researching the dispersal, migration, demographics, effective population size, inbreeding depression, and minimum population viability of rare or endangered species. To better understand the restoration ecology of native plant and animal communities, the conservation biologist closely studies both their polytypic and monotypic habitats that are affected by a wide range of benign and hostile factors. Conservation biology is concerned with phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biodiversity and the science of sustaining evolutionary processes that engender genetic, population, species, and ecosystem diversity. The concern stems from estimates suggesting that up to 50% of all species on the planet will disappear within the next 50 years, which has contributed to poverty, starvation, and will reset the course of evolution on this planet.

Conservation biologists research and educate on the trends and process of biodiversity loss, species extinctions, and the negative effect these are having on our capabilities to sustain the well-being of human society. Conservation biologists work in the field and office, in government, universities, non-profit organizations and industry. They are funded to research, monitor, and catalog every angle of the earth and its relation to society. The topics are diverse, because this is an interdisciplinary network with professional alliances in the biological as well as social sciences. Those dedicated to the cause and profession advocate for a global response to the current biodiversity crisis based on morals, ethics, and scientific reason. Organizations and citizens are responding to the biodiversity crisis through conservation action plans that direct research, monitoring, and education programs that engage concerns at local through global scales.

Information about Conservation Biology

Inaugurated in 1987, the journal, Conservation Biology was originally developed to provide a global voice for an emerging discipline. It quickly became the most important journal dealing with the topic of biological diversity. The journal continues to publish groundbreaking scientific papers on topics such as population ecology and genetics, ecosystem management, freshwater and marine conservation, landscape ecology, and the many human dimensions of conservation and is the most frequently cited conservation journal in the world.

In concert with the larger goals of the Society for Conservation Biology, the journal promotes the highest standards of quality and ethics in the activity of conservation research and encourages the communication of results to facilitate their application in conservation decision-making. With provocative essays and editorials, regular topical reviews, practical approaches to conservation, and the publication of original research, Conservation Biology remains instrumental in defining the key issues contributing to the study and practice of conservation.

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