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Animal Behavior and Conservation

Animal behaviorists have two levels of concern about the conservation of animal and plant diversity, and the preservation of natural habitats and functional ecosystems. Professionally, we require animal species behaving and interacting with one another in a wide range of natural conditions to understand the function of, and variation in, behavior. Personally, animal behaviorists love to watch animals and genuinely care about their well-being and continued existence so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Members of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) may act to conserve biodiversity by applying their professional skills to conservation problems, or they may act on a personal level by supporting conservation groups and acting locally to preserve animal habitats. In either case animal behaviorists have made major contributions to the conservation of nature.

The Animal Behavior Society's Conservation Committee was formed to assist society members who want to apply their professional skills to solve conservation problems. Animal behaviorists approach the study of behavior from at least four different angles (mechanisms, development, adaptive function, evolutionary history), each of which may provide insight to managing effectively a species or population. The ABS Conservation Committee has put together these web pages as a resource for those interested in the role of animal behavior study in conservation.

Want to help? Be sure to read:

Thirteen Things a Behavioral Biologist Can Do To Help Conservation