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What Is Conservation Science?

Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier
Vol. 62, No. 11 (November 2012), pp. 962-969
DOI: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.11.5
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Page Count: 8
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What Is Conservation Science?
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In 1985, Michael Soulé asked, “What is conservation biology?” We revisit this question more than 25 years later and offer a revised set of core principles in light of the changed global context for conservation. Most notably, scientists now widely acknowledge that we live in a world dominated by humans, and therefore, the scientific underpinnings of conservation must include a consideration of the role of humans. Today’s conservation science incorporates conservation biology into a broader interdisciplinary field that explicitly recognizes the tight coupling of social and natural systems. Emerging priorities include pursuing conservation within working landscapes, rebuilding public support, working with the corporate sector, and paying better attention to human rights and equity. We argue that in conservation, strategies must be promoted that simultaneously maximize the preservation of biodiversity and the improvement of human well-being.

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