Conservation biology: past and present 1
In this chapter, Curt Meine introduces the discipline by tracing its history. He also highlights the inter‐disciplinary nature of conservation science. Conservation biology emerged in the mid‐1980s as a new field focused on understanding, protecting, and perpetuating biological diversity at all scales and all levels of biological organization. Conservation biology has deep roots in the growth of biology over several centuries, but its emergence reflects more recent developments in an array of biological sciences (ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, etc.) and natural resource management fields (forestry, wildlife and fisheries management, etc.). Conservation biology was conceived as a “mission‐oriented” field based in the biological sciences, but with an explicit interdisciplinary approach that incorporated insights from the social sciences, humanities, and ethics. Since its founding, conservation biology has: (i) greatly elaborated its research agenda; (ii) built stronger connections with other fields and disciplines; (iii) extended its reach especially into aquatic and marine environments; (iv) developed its professional capacity for training, research, and field application; (v) become an increasingly international field; and (vi) become increasingly active at the interface of conservation science and policy.
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