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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    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Mojave Desert is the smallest of the four North American deserts. While the Mojave lies between the... More »

  • Habitat fragmentation Featured Article Habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation

    Habitat fragmentation involves alteration of habitat resulting in spatial separation of habitat units from a previous state of greater... More »

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    Bats Worth Billions to Agriculture: Pest-control Services at Risk Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S.... More »

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    Overgrazing is herbivory (animal comsumption of plants) that extracts an unsustainable yield of floral biomass from an ecosystem; however, the term is most often... More »

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      The Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) spends so much of its annual time at sea that the species is classified as a marine mammal; however, it is also commonly... More »

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    Despite the relative lack of information integrating the health, ecological, and economic impacts of different fish dietary choices, clear and simple guidance is needed to effect... More »

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Mangrove ecology Last Updated on 2014-10-19 17:31:46 ​Mangrove ecology is the study of biotic interactions within mangrove swamp ecosystems. These habitats are significant not only for the biodiversity they represent, but also for the protection of coastal erosion, and for the provision of protected nursery areas for marine fauna.   Mangroves worldwide cover an approximate area of 240 000 square kilometers of sheltered coastlines in the tropics and subtropics. Mangroves stabilize coastal intertidal soils pereventing coastal erosion Four of the most common ecotypes include fringe, riverine, basin, and scrub forests. Mangroves are restricted to the intertidal zone. Mangroves in general have a great capacity to recover from major natural disturbances. Mangroves maintain water quality by trapping sediments and taking up excess... More »
Big Bend National Park, United States Last Updated on 2014-10-19 16:55:59 Big Bend National Park is one of the two National Parks located in the state of Texas, in the USA. Big Bend National Park is located in the Big Bend region along the border of Texas and Mexico where the Rio Grande bends toward the Gulf of Mexico. Because the park contains a variety of habitat types including mountains, deserts, and riparian habitats, the park is home to a diverse flora and fauna. Visitors arrive at Big Bend National Park to hike, camp, watch wildlife, and experience the river by rafting or canoeing. Big Bend National Park is located in the big bend of the Rio Grande along more than 161 kilomters (100 miles) of the Texas-Chihuahua-Coahuila border southeast of El Paso, Texas in Brewster County, Texas. It includes a large portion of the Chihuahuan Desert as well as the Chisos Mountains on the Texas side of the Rio Grande’s expansive steep canyons. In 1933,... More »
Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Last Updated on 2014-10-01 11:12:09 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Western Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows ecoregion has large areas of habitat suitable for conserving viable populations of the high-altitude Himalayan predator, the snow leopard (Uncia uncia), and the large montane ungulates such as blue sheep (Pseudois nayur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster), and serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), which form its prey. Wild yak (Bos grunniens) used to inhabit the innermost ranges of the western Himalayan alpine meadows adjacent to the Tibetan Plateau. These large beasts are now considered locally extinct throughout most of their former distribution and have not been recorded in Indian territory recently. Most of the ecoregion's mammals are small species, such as the Himalayan palm civet, pale weasel, Himalayan weasel,... More »
Habitat fragmentation Last Updated on 2014-09-30 10:21:30 Habitat fragmentation involves alteration of habitat resulting in spatial separation of habitat units from a previous state of greater continuity. Figure 1. Aerial photograph of dry forest scrub in southern Zambia, fragmented by agricultural land conversion. 2008 This phenomenon occurs naturally on a geologic time-scale or in unusual and catastrophic events: however, since the Holocene era, humans have produced dramatic and swift transformation of landscapes throughout the world, resulting in a level of habitat fragmentation that has induced worldwide reduction in biodiversity and interuption of  sustainable yields of natural resources. Humans produce habitat fragmentation chiefly from agricultural land conversion, urbanization, pollution, deforestation and introduction of alien species; ironically, both human caused wildfires as well as the... More »
Ecosystem Last Updated on 2014-09-24 22:46:28 An ecosystem is a community of organisms interacting with each other and with their environment such that energy is exchanged and system-level processes, such as the cycling of elements, emerge. The ecosystem is a core concept in Biology and Ecology, serving as the level of biological organization in which organisms interact simultaneously with each other and with their environment. As such, ecosystems are a level above that of the ecological community (organisms of different species interacting with each other) but are at a level below, or equal to, biomes and the biosphere. Essentially, biomes are regional ecosystems, and the biosphere is the largest of all possible ecosystems. Ecosystems include living organisms, the dead organic matter produced by them, the abiotic environment within which the organisms live and exchange elements (soils, water, atmosphere), and the interactions... More »