Related topics: species · climate change

Climate change negatively impacting bumblebees, study finds

Temperature changes have negatively impacted most species of bumblebees over the past 120 years, according to new research published this week in Biology Letters. The researchers note that changes in temperature had more ...

Tree species diversity under pressure

In a new global study of more than 46,000 species of trees, an international team of researchers has shown that many tree species are under substantial pressure and poorly protected. The research team, headed by Aarhus University, ...

Rare wetland plant found in Arizona now listed as endangered

A rare plant that depends on wetlands for survival is now on the federal endangered species list, a designation that environmentalists say will boost efforts to protect the last free-flowing river in the desert Southwest.

How wolf personalities can alter wetlands

Can wolf personalities change ecosystems? According to the latest research from the Voyageurs Wolf Project, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, they can.

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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 term conservation biology was introduced as the title of a conference held University of California at San Diego in La Jolla, California in 1978 organized by biologists Bruce Wilcox and Michael Soulé. The meeting was prompted by the growing concern among scientists over tropical deforestation, disappearing species, eroding genetic diversity within species. The conference and proceedings that resulted sought to bridge a gap existing at the time between theory in ecology and population biology on the one hand and conservation policy and practice on the other. Conservation biology and the concept of biological diversity (biodiversity) emerged together, helping crystallize the modern era of conservation science and policy.

The rapid decline of 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. 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 affect this is 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.

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