The scientific discipline concerned with the ways in which Earth's biological diversity is lost and the development of solutions to protect the natural functioning of ecosystems and the species that reside within them. Extensive surveys of habitats provide valuable information on the number, kind, and health of species that reside there. Combining this information with knowledge of how various factors (such as habitat destruction, overharvesting, pollution, introduced species, and the effects of global warming) contribute to species decline and extinction enables scientists and wildlife managers to design protection plans for vulnerable forms. Often, protection plans involve the setting aside of large parcels of existing habitat, the elimination of foreign species, and the restoration of areas previously altered by human activity.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on conservation, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up conservation? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.