The Science of Conservation Biology

Conservation biology is a mission-oriented discipline that focuses on how to protect and restore biodiversity, or the diversity of life on Earth. Like medical research, conservation biology addresses issues where quick action is critical and the consequences of failure are great.

To preserve biodiversity, scientists must answer three general questions.

  1. How is the diversity of life distributed around the planet?
  2. What threats does this diversity face?
  3. What can people do to reduce or eliminate these threats and, when possible, restore biological diversity and ecosystem health?

To answer the third question, an understanding of human behavior is required and a multi-disciplinary approach is needed.  The discipline of conservation biology thus includes--in addition to biological sciences--economics, anthropology, psychology, and history. 

These resources provide a brief introduction to the discipline