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Conservation Biology is a Global Community of Conservation

 Patrick Llewellyna*

Published Date: 2022-01-12

Patrick Llewellyna*

Department of Biodiversity, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

*Corresponding Author:
Patrick Llewellyna
DDepartment of Biodiversity, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
E-mail:[email protected]

Received date: December 12, 2021, Manuscript No. IPEJBIO-22-12741; Editor assigned date: December 14, 2021, PreQC No. IPEJBIO-22-12741 (PQ); Reviewed date: December 28, 2021, QC No. IPEJBIO-22-12741; Revised date: January 5, 2022, Manuscript No. IPEJBIO-22-12741 (R); Published date: January 12, 2022, DOI: 10.36648/1860-3122.18.1. 004
Citation: Llewellyna P (2022) Conservation Biology is a global community of conservation. Electronic J Biol, 18(1):1-2.

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Description

Ecology has clarified the workings of the biosphere; i.e., the complex interrelationships among humans, other species, and the physical environment. The burgeoning human population and associated agriculture, industry and the ensuing pollution, have demonstrated how easily ecological relationships can be disrupted.
Some species, called a keystone species form a central supporting hub unique to their ecosystem. The loss of such a species results in a collapse in ecosystem function, as well as the loss of coexisting species. Keystone species are usually predators due to their ability to control the population of prey in their ecosystem. The importance of a keystone species was shown by the extinction of the Stiller’s sea cow through its interaction with sea otters, sea urchins, and kelp. Kelp beds grow and form nurseries in shallow waters to shelter creatures that support the food chain. Sea urchins feed on kelp, while sea otters feed on sea urchins. With the rapid decline of sea otters due to overhunting, sea urchin populations grazed unrestricted on the kelp beds and the ecosystem collapsed. Left unchecked, the urchins destroyed the shallow water kelp communities that supported the Stiller’s sea cow's diet and hastened their demise. The sea otter was thought to be a keystone species because the coexistence of many ecological associates in the kelp beds relied upon otters for their survival. However this was later questioned by Turvey and Risley, who showed that hunting alone, would have driven the Stiller’s sea cow extinct.

Global Community of Conservation

The Society for conservation biology is a global community of conservation professionals dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving biodiversity. Conservation biology as a discipline reaches beyond biology, into subjects such as philosophy, law, economics, humanities, arts, anthropology, and education [1]. Within biology, conservation genetics and evolution are immense fields unto themselves, but these disciplines are of prime importance to the practice and profession of conservation biology.
Conservationists introduce bias when they support policies using qualitative description, such as habitat degradation, or healthy ecosystems. Conservation biologists advocate for reasoned and sensible management of natural resources and do so with a disclosed combination of science, reason, logic, and values in their conservation management plans [2]. This sort of advocacy is similar to the medical profession advocating for healthy lifestyle options, both are beneficial to human well-being yet remain scientific in their approach.
There is a movement in conservation biology suggesting a new form of leadership is needed to mobilize conservation biology into a more effective discipline that is able to communicate the full scope of the problem to society at large. The movement proposes an adaptive leadership approach that parallels an adaptive management approach. The concept is based on a new philosophy or leadership theory steering away from historical notions of power, authority, and dominance [3]. Adaptive conservation leadership is reflective and more equitable as it applies to any member of society who can mobilize others toward meaningful change using communication techniques that are inspiring, purposeful, and collegial. Adaptive conservation leadership and mentoring programs are being implemented by conservation biologists through organizations such as the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.

International Union for Conservation of Nature

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has organized a global assortment of scientists and research stations across the planet to monitor the changing state of nature in an effort to tackle the extinction crisis. The IUCN provides annual updates on the status of species conservation through its Red List. The IUCN Red List serves as an international conservation tool to identify those species most in need of conservation attention and by providing a global index on the status of biodiversity. More than the dramatic rates of species loss, however, conservation scientists note that the sixth mass extinction is a biodiversity crisis requiring far more action than a priority focus on rare, endemic or endangered species. Concerns for biodiversity loss covers a broader conservation mandate that looks at ecological processes, such as migration, and a holistic examination of biodiversity at levels beyond the species, including genetic, population and ecosystem diversity. Extensive, systematic, and rapid rates of biodiversity loss threatens the sustained well-being of humanity by limiting supply of ecosystem services that are otherwise regenerated by the complex and evolving holistic network of genetic and ecosystem diversity. While the conservation status of species is employed extensively in conservation management, some scientists highlight that it is the common species that are the primary source of exploitation and habitat alteration by humanity. Moreover, common species are often undervalued despite their role as the primary source of ecosystem services [4,6].
While most in the community of conservation science quit; stress the importance" of sustaining biodiversity, there is debate on how to prioritize genes, species or ecosystems, which are all components of biodiversity. While the predominant approach to date has been to focus efforts on endangered species by conserving biodiversity hotspots, some scientists and conservation organizations, such as the nature conservancy, argue that it is more cost-effective, logical, and socially relevant to invest in biodiversity cold spots. The costs of discovering, naming, and mapping out the distribution of every species, they argue, are an ill-advised conservation venture. They reason it is better to understand the significance of the ecological roles of species [7].
Biodiversity hotspots and cold spots are a way of recognizing that the spatial concentration of genes, species, and ecosystems is not uniformly distributed on the Earth's surface. For example, 44% of all species of vascular plants and 35% of all species in four vertebrate groups are confined to 25 hotspots comprising only 1.4% of the land surface of the earth."
Those arguing in favor of setting priorities for cold spots point out that there are other measures to consider beyond biodiversity. They point out that emphasizing hotspots downplays the importance of the social and ecological connections to vast areas of the Earth's ecosystems where biomass, not biodiversity, reigns supreme. It is estimated that 36% of the Earth's surface, encompassing 38.9% of the world’s vertebrates, lacks the endemic species to qualify as biodiversity hotspot. Moreover, measures show that maximizing protections for biodiversity does not capture ecosystem services any better than targeting randomly chosen regions. Population level biodiversity (mostly in cold spots) are disappearing at a rate that is ten times that at the species level. The level of importance in addressing biomass versus endemism as a concern for conservation biology is highlighted in literature measuring the level of threat to global ecosystem carbon stocks that do not necessarily reside in areas of endemism. A hotspot priority approach would not invest so heavily in places such as steppes, the Serengeti, the Arctic, or taiga. These areas contribute a great abundance of population (not species) level biodiversity and ecosystem services, including cultural value and planetary nutrient cycling [8,10].

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