Conservation Biology

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2004)

Sahotra Sarkar
University of Texas at Austin
Conservation biology emerged as an organized academic discipline in the United States in the 1980s though much of its theoretical framework was originally developed in Australia. Significant differences of approach in the two traditions were resolved in the late 1990s through the formulation of a consensus framework for the design and adaptive management of conservation area networks. This entry presents an outline of that framework along with a critical analysis of conceptual issues concerning the four theoretical problems that emerge from it: (i) place prioritization for conservation action; (ii) the selection of surrogates for biodiversity in conservation planning; (iii) the assessment of vulnerability of conservation areas; and (iv) the synchronization of incommensurable criteria including socio-economic constraints on conservation planning.
Keywords Ecology  Conservation Biology  Prioritization
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