Conservation Biology: New Goals and New Partners for Managers of Biological Resources
The conservation and management of biological resources have recently entered a period of uncharacteristic change. Biological diversity refers to the variety among living organisms and the complexity of the ecological systems in which they live. Ecosystem diversity is the variety of physical environments and biotic communities in an area. It represents the heterogeneity or patchiness of natural environments on scales from local to regional to global. Conservation biology emerged as a new field because the scientific community and the broader community of conservationists were frustrated that traditional approaches to managing biological resources seemed incapable of dealing with the current crisis for biological diversity. Outside of the Society for Conservation Biology growth in interest and activities has been equally impressive. Graduate training programs are emerging at most of the larger universities that traditionally trained resource managers, and the cross-fertilization process is expanding at the academic level.