What is biodiversity conservation? : This article belongs to Ambio's 50th Anniversary Collection. Theme: Biodiversity Conservation.
Conservation science is a new and evolving discipline, so it seems prudent to explore different approaches. That said, we should examine what we know and, vitally, what works to conserve biodiversity and what does not. Ecosystem processes determine the fate of many species, but many attempts to theorise about ecosystems have led to ever more fanciful descriptions of nature. All conservation is local. It will only succeed if we find ways to accommodate people and nature. That does not mean indigenous knowledge acquired over millennia will be sufficient to our ever more overcrowded planet. Observational and experimental studies of small populations of wild species, however, do provide practical insights into how to manage biodiversity across much larger geographical extents.
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