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Trends Ecol Evol. 1996 Jun;11(6):260-3.

Conservation needs ethologv.

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  • 1Arbeitsgruppe fur Verhaltensforschung, Fakultat fur Biologie, Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.


With the number of species and near-to-natural habitats rapidly dwindling, conservation has become an undebatable necessity. There have been some laudable, successful species conservation projects but there have also been many deplorable failures. The failures are exacerbated by limited funding. Conservationists depend on funding by national government organizations (NG0s) and by private sponsors, more than other practitioners of organismic biology do. To maximize their success, conservationists would be well advised to heed the messages resulting from animal behaviour study (i.e. ethology) and/or to involve ethologists in their projects. Here, I illustrate how ethology can benefit both in situ and ex situ conservation measures; the need for conservation-oriented behaviour research is paramount.

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