The NEW ABS News System is Now Available.View News »

Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Animal Behavior & Conservation

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.

Publications in Conservation Behavior

This web page has been created as source of review and conceptually based publications on the interface of conservation and behavioral biology. The references below provide an overview on how conservation efforts have been aided through a better understanding of behavior. These references are not an exhaustive list nor are they intended to present empirical papers or Case Studies.. List compiled by J. Cully Nordby and the ABS-Conservation Committee. Further references added by B. Schulte from recommendations by speakers at the Trends in Conservation Behavior Symposium (2013 ABS meeting in Boulder, CO).

Books and Edited Volumes

Blumstein, D.T. & Fernandez-Juricic, E. 2010. A Primer of Conservation Behavior. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, MA.

Candolin, U. & Wong, B.B.M. 2012. Behavioural Responses to a Changing Environment. Mechanisms and Consequences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Caro , T. (ed.). 1998. Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

Clemmons, J.R., and R. Buchholz (eds.). 1997. Behavioral Approaches to Conservation in the Wild. Cambridge University Press, New York, New York.

Festa-Bianchet , M. and M. Apollonio (eds.) 2003. Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Gosling, L.M., and W.J. Sutherland (eds.). 2000. Behaviour and Conservation. Cambridge University Press, New York, New York.

Sutherland, W.J. 1996. From Individual Behaviour to Population Ecology. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

Symposia Proceedings

Helfman , G. S. (ed.) 1999. Behavior and fish conservation. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 55, 7-201. [15 contributed papers]

Ulfstrand , S. (ed.) 1996, Behavioural ecology as a tool in conservation biology. Oikos. 77, 183-237. [7 contributed papers]

Reviews and Opinion

Angeloni, L., Schlaepfer, M.A., Lawler, J.J. & Crooks, K.R. 2008. A reassessment of the interface between conservation and behaviour. Animal Behaviour, 75, 731-737.

Angeloni, L., Crooks, K.R. & Blumstein, D.T. 2010. Conservation and behavior: introduction. In Breed MD and Moore J (eds.) Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, 1: 377-381. Academic Press, Oxford.

Anthony, L. L. and Blumstein, D. T. 2000. Integrating behaviour into wildlife conservation: the multiple ways that behaviour can reduce N e. Biological Conservation, 95, 303-315.

Berger-Tal, O., Polak, T, Oron, A., Lubin, Y., Kotler, B.P. & Saltz, D. 2011. Integrating animal behavior and conservation biology: a conceptual framework. Behavioral Ecology, 22, 236-239.

Blumstein, D.T. 2002.   Moving to suburbia:   ontogenetic and evolutionary consequences of life on predator-free islands.   Journal of Biogeography, 29, 685-692.

Blumstein, D.T.   1998.   Female preferences and effective population size. Animal Conservation 1:173-177.

Blumstein, D.T. & Fernandez-Juricic, E. 2004. The emergence of conservation behavior. Conservation Biology, 18, 1175-1177.

Buchholz, R. 2007. Behavioural biology: an effective and relevant conservation tool. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22, 401-407.

Caro , T. M. 1999. The behaviour-conservation interface. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 14, 366-369.

Caro, T. 2007. Behaviour and conservation: a bridge too far? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22, 394-400.

Caro, T. & Sherman, P.W. 2011. Endangered species and a threatened discipline: behavioural ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 26, 111-118.

Caro, T. & Sherman, P.W. 2012. Eighteen reasons animal behaviourists avoid involvement in conservation. Animal Behaviour, 85, 305-312.

Cooke, S.J., Blumstein, D.T., Buchholz, R., Caro, T., Fernandez-Juricic, E., Franklin, C.E., Metcalfe, J., O'Connor, C.M., St. Clair, C.C., Sutherland, W.J. & Wikelski, M. In press. Physiology, Behaviour and Conservation. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Cooke, S.J., Sack, L., Franklin, C.E., Farrell, A.P., Beardall, J., Wikelski, M. & Chown, S.L. 2013. What is conservation physiology? Perspectives on an increasingly integrated and essential science. Conservation Physiology, 1, 1-23. 

Cooke, S.J. & O'Connor, C.M. 2010. Making conservation physiology relevant to policy makers and conservation practitioners. Conservation Letters, 3, 159-166.

Costa, D.P. & Sinervo, B. 2004. Field physiology: physiological insights from animals in nature. Annual Review Physiology, 66, 209-238. 

Curio, E. 1996. Conservation needs ethology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 11, 260-263.

Fernández-Juricic, E. 2012. Sensory basis of vigilance behavior in birds: synthesis and future prospects. Behavioural Processes, 89, 143-152.

Fisher, B. L. 1998. Insect behavior and ecology in conservation: preserving functional species interactions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 91: 155-158.

Fenton, M.B. 1997. Science and the conservation of bats. Journal of Mammology, 78, 1-14.

Goss-Custard, J.D. and Sutherland, W.J. 1997. Individual behaviour, populations and conservation. In J.R. Krebs and N.B. Davies (eds.) Behavioural Ecology: an Evolutionary Approach 4th ed. pp. 373-395 Blackwell Science: Malden, Massachusetts.

Griffin , A. S., Blumstein, D. T. & Evans, C. S. 2000. Training captive-bred or translocated animals to avoid predators. Conservation Biology, 14, 1317-1326.

Harcourt, A. H. 1999. The behaviour-conservation interface. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 14, 490.

Hofer, H. and East, M.L. 1998. Biological conservation and stress. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 27, 405-525

Holway , D. A. and Suarez, A. V. 1999. Animal behavior: an essential component of invasion biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 14, 328-330.

Kokko , H. and Sutherland, W. J. 2001. Ecological traps in changing environments: ecological and evolutionary consequences of a behaviorally mediated Allee effect. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 3, 537-551.

Lindburg , D. G. and Fitch-Snyder, H. 1994. Use of behavior to evaluate reproductive problems in captive mammals. Zoo Biology, 13, 433-445.

Lima, S.L. 1998. Non-lethal effects in the ecology of predator-prey interactions.  BioScience, 48, 25–34.

Lima , S. L., and Zollner, P. A. 1996. Towards a behavioral ecology of ecological landscapes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 11, 131-135.

Linklater, W.L. 2004. Wanted for conservation research: behavioral ecologists with a broader perspective. BioScience, 54, 352-360.

Moore, J. 2013. An overview of parasite-induced behavioral alterations – and some lessons from bats. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 11-17.

Rankin, C.H., Abrams, T., Barry, R.J., Bhatnagar, S., Clayton, D.F., Colombo, J., Coppola, G., Geyer, M.A., Glanzman, D.L., Marsland, S., McSweeney, F.K., Wilson, D.A., Wum, C-F. & Thompson, R.F. 2009. Habituation revisited: An updated and revised description of the behavioral characteristics of habituation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 135–138.

Reed, J. M. 1999. The role of behavior in recent avian extinctions and endangerments. Conservation Biology 13, 232-241.

Reed, J. M. and Dobson, A. P. 1993. Behavioural constraints and conservation biology: conspecific attraction and recruitment. Trends in Ecology and Evolution,  8, 253-256

Rice, K. J. and Emery, N. C. 2003. Managing microevolution: restoration in the face of global change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 1, 469-478.

Robertson, B.A., Rehage, J.S. & Sih, A. 2013. Ecological novelty and the emergence of evolutionary traps. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, in press.

Rubenstein, D. I. 2001. Social behavior. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 5, 295-303.

Schlaepfer , M. A., Runge, M. C. and Sherman, P. W. 2002. Ecological and evolutionary traps. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 17, 474-480.

Scott, G.R. & Sloman, K.A. 2004. The effects of environmental pollutants on complex fish behaviour: integrating behavioural and physiological indicators of toxicity. Aquatic Toxicology, 68, 369–392.

Shepherdson , D. J. 1994. The role of environmental enrichment in the captive breeding and reintroduction of endangered species. In: Creative Conservation:   Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Animals. Mace, G., Olney, P. J. S. & Feistner, A. (eds.), pp. 167-177. Chapman & Hall: London.

Shumway , C. A. 1999. A neglected science: applying behavior to aquatic conservation. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 55: 183-201.

Sih, A., Ferrari, M.C.O. & Harris, D.J. 2011. Evolution and behavioural responses to human-induced rapid environmental change. Evolutionary Applications, 4, 367–387.

Sih, A. 2013. Understanding variation in behavioural responses to human-induced rapid environmental change: a conceptual overview. Animal Behaviour, 85, 1077-1088.

Stockwell , C. A., Hendry, A. P. and Kinnison, M. T. 2003. Contemporary evolution meets conservation biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 18, 94-101.

Strier , K.B. 1997. Behavioral ecology and conservation biology of primates and other animals. Advances in the Study of Behavior 26:101-158.

Sutherland, W. J. 1998. The importance of behavioral studies in conservation biology. Animal Behaviour, 56, 801-809.

Tuomainen, U. & Candolin, U. 2011. Behavioural responses to human-induced environmental change. Biological Reviews, 86, 640–657.

Wedekind , C. 2002. Sexual selection and life-history decisions: Implications for supportive breeding and the management of captive populations. Conservation Biology, 16, 1204-1211.

Wikelski, M. & Cooke, S.J. 2006. Conservation physiology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 21, 38-46.

Yahner , R. H. and Mahan, C. G. 1997. Behavioral considerations in fragmented landscapes. Conservation Biology 11, 569-570.


Anderson, R.M. & May, R.M. 1979. Population biology of infectious diseases: Part I. Nature, 280, 361-367.

Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H., Finn, H. & Allen, S. 2009. Impact assessment research: use and misuse of habituation, sensitisation and tolerance in describing wildlife responses to anthropogenic stimuli. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 395, 177–185.

Bernhardt, G.E., Blackwell, B.F., DeVault, T.L. & Kutschbach-Brohl, L. 2010. Fatal injuries to birds from collisions with aircraft reveal antipredator behaviors. Ibis, 151, 830–834.

Fox, D.   2003. Behavior and conservation: More than meets the eye. Conservation in Practice, 4, 20-29.

Frid, A. & Dill, L. 2002. Human-caused disturbance stimuli as a form of predation risk. Conservation Ecology, 6, 11, [online]: http ⁄ ⁄

Ghalambor, C.K., Mckay, J.K., S.P. Carroll, S.P. & Reznick, D.N. 2007. Adaptive versus non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity and the potential for contemporary adaptation in new environments. Functional Ecology, 21, 394–407.

Hossack, B.R., Lowe, W.H., Ware, J.L. & Corn, P.S. 2013. Disease in a dynamic landscape: Host behavior and wildlife reduce amphibian chytrid infection. USGS Staff- Published Research. Paper 709,

Kashima, K., Ohtsuki, H. & Satake, A. 2013. Fission-fusion bat behavior as a strategy for balancing the conflicting needs of maximizing information accuracy and minimizing infection risk. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 318, 101-109.

Knight, J. 2001. If they could talk to the animals. Nature, 414, 246-247.

Martin, G. 2011. Understanding bird collisions with man-made objects: a sensory ecology approach. Ibis, 153, 239–254.