Abstract: The search for generalities in ecology has often been thwarted by contingency and ecological complexity that limit the development of predictive rules. We present a set of concepts that we believe succinctly expresses some of the fundamental ideas in conservation biology. (1) Successful conservation management requires explicit goals and objectives. (2) The overall goal of biodiversity management will usually be to maintain or restore biodiversity, not to maximize species richness. (3) A holistic approach is needed to solve conservation problems. (4) Diverse approaches to management can provide diverse environmental conditions and mitigate risk. (5) Using nature's template is important for guiding conservation management, but it is not a panacea. (6) Focusing on causes not symptoms enhances efficacy and efficiency of conservation actions. (7) Every species and ecosystem is unique, to some degree. (8) Threshold responses are important but not ubiquitous. (9) Multiple stressors often exert critical effects on species and ecosystems. (10) Human values are variable and dynamic and significantly shape conservation efforts. We believe most conservation biologists will broadly agree these concepts are important. That said, an important part of the maturation of conservation biology as a discipline is constructive debate about additional or alternative concepts to those we have proposed here. Therefore, we have established a web‐based, online process for further discussion of the concepts outlined in this paper and developing additional ones.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2010
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