Conservation Biology

Conservation biology addresses the preservation of species and their habitats throughout the world. Techniques used in these endeavors include genetics, vegetation restoration, wildlife management and other natural resource management activities. During the last 10,000 years, species extinctions have been occurring at an alarming rate, due to the human population explosion, and resulting habitat destruction for agriculture and other human purposes. The importance of conservation biology is underscored by the fact that an estimated 1800 populations per hour are being lost at the present pace of ecological damage. Conservation biology seeks to maintain populations of plants and animals, with an emphasis upon rare and endangered species. 

An intrinsic part of conservation biology is identification of species interactions, in order to understand the core elements of preserving an intact habitat in its full functionality.  Equally important is an understanding of genetic diversity within each species and the population dynamics that underlies the progression of species numbers from one generation to the next. Conservation biology is practiced by governmental agencies, but also by private organizations, since key element of land ownership are often privately owned; coordination of a regional strategy among landowners is vital for the preservation of biological corridors. Captive breeding programs are used as a defense of last resort in the preservation of a species.

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Recently Updated
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa Last Updated on 2014-07-10 16:27:07 The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park (32°06’25’’E to 32°56’46’’E. and 26°51’26’’S to 28°29’07’’S) is a World Heritage Site. There are few comparable protected coastlines within the tropics as pristine as St. Lucia's. The Park is one of the outstanding natural wetland sites of Africa. It lies on a tropical-subtropical interface with a wide range of terrestrial, wetland, estuarine lake, coastal and marine environments, which are scenically beautiful and basically unmodified by people. These include coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands, critical habitat for a range of species from Africa's sea, wetlands and savannas. The interaction of these environments with major floods and coastal storms in the Park's transitional... More »
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Last Updated on 2014-07-10 16:22:15 The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is one of 13 sanctuaries in the National Marine Sanctuary System created under the U.S. Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. The sanctuary's goal is to promote comprehensive and coordinated management, research, education and long-term monitoring for the endangered humpback whale and its habitat. The Hawaiian Islands are the world's most isolated island archipelago, born of ancient volcanoes and inhabited by animals and plants derived from ancestors that found their way here over thousands of miles of ocean. According to scientists, the shallow, warm waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands constitute one of the world's most important habitats for the endangered humpback whale. Nearly two-thirds of the entire North Pacific population of humpback whales migrates to Hawai`i each winter. Here,... More »
Wetland protection for reptiles and amphibians Last Updated on 2014-07-10 16:08:27 Wetlands serve as critical habitat for many species of amphibians and reptiles, collectively known as herpetofauna, or “herps". Their reliance on wetlands makes herps especially vulnerable to the loss and degradation of wetlands; indeed, global population declines in reptiles and amphibians may be related to changes in the quality and availability of wetland habitat. All amphibians rely on wetlands to some extent. Many species lay gelatinous eggs under water, whereas others, like certain salamanders, lay their eggs on moist land. After hatching, many young amphibians enter an aquatic larval stage, which can last from several days to many months (or even several years, as is the case with the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus). On becoming adults, most amphibians adopt a facultatively terrestrial lifestyle, and may use both wetland and upland... More »
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Last Updated on 2014-07-10 15:54:39 The IUCN is the world's largest conservation organization, bringing together 82 States, 111 government agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. The Union’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Also known as the 'World Conservation Union' since 1990, the IUCN is a multicultural, multilingual organization with 1,000 staff located in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. The IUCN is currently divided into six commissions. These are: a) Ecosystem Management b) Education and Communication c) Environmental, Economic and Social Policy d)... More »
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaíno, Mexico Last Updated on 2014-07-10 15:39:44 The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino (27° 23'-27° 59'N, 114° 30'-114° 55'W) is a World Heritage Site located in Mexico and comprises two lagoons which lie in the central part of the Baja California peninsula, between the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Forms part of the Municipality of Mulege, Bajo California Sur State. Accessible via the north-south highway. Both lagoons are situated on the west side of the peninsula, Laguna Ojo de Liebre is connected to the Bahia Sebastian Vizcaino, and Laguna San Ignacio lies east of the town of Punta Abrejos, into which Rio San Ignacio flows. Federal Decree of 6 December 1971, promulgated on 14 January 1972, declared Laguna Ojo de Liebre a marine refuge zone for whales. On 28 March 1980, the Decree was modified to include the lagoons of Manuela and Guerrero Negro. On 11 September 1972, a Decree... More »