You are on page 1of 4

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.


Wildlife Conservation

Chapter · January 2014

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_3241

1 2,720

1 author:

Keith G. Tidball
Cornell University


Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

Special Issue on Social-Ecological Traps View project

Prospects for Resilience View project

All content following this page was uploaded by Keith G. Tidball on 13 November 2014.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.

11/13/2014 Wildlife Conservation - Springer

Alex C. Michalos
Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Wildlife Conservation
Keith G. Tidball 1

(1) Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, 115A Bruckner Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Keith G. Tidball

Without Abstract


Wildlife conservation is an activity in which humans make conscious efforts to protect plants and other
animal species and their habitats. Wildlife conservation is very important because wildlife and
wilderness play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance and contribute to human quality
of life.

The phrase wildlife conservation conceptually invokes a valuation process in which it is decided that
something, in this case wildlife, must be conserved. The decision to conserve requires a justification and
associated valuation of that which is to be conserved. Justifications for conservation can be thought of
broadly as falling into two categories: The first category assumes that there are potentially identifiable
benefits to be derived through conservation, and the second category is based on the idea that
organisms have a right to exist because they have already existed for a long time, so that there is a
difficult to define though recognizable benefit to be derived by these organisms’ mere existence (see
Margules & Usher, 1981, among others, for a thorough review of these categories). Valuation, then, in
terms of wildlife conservation, must recognize distinctions between “held” and “assigned” values of 1/3
11/13/2014 Wildlife Conservation - Springer

wildlife (Brown, 1984) and must consider what values underlie attitudes toward wildlife and what types
of wildlife and their number, in what settings in which we find them, and what opportunities they
provide (Brown & Manfredo, 1987).

Decker and colleagues (Decker, Brown et al., 2001) traced the development of wildlife conservation
and management by reviewing textbooks and other important documents starting with the work of
Aldo Leopold and leading up into the 1980s. In this work, these scholars concluded that the most
useful concept for contemporary wildlife management and conservation was that wildlife management
and conservation consists of “the science and art of making decisions and taking actions to manipulate
the structures, dynamics, and relations of populations, habitats, and people to achieve specific human
objectives by means of the wildlife resource” (Giles, 1978).

Kinds or categories of values that stimulate efforts to engage in wildlife conservation include
recreational, aesthetic, educational, biological, sociocultural, and commercial (for further discussion of
categories and typologies of values and wildlife conservation, see King (1947), Kellert (1980), and
Decker and Brown et al. (2001)). Each of these kinds or categories of values in some way relates to
quality of life; however, additional study is required to empirically determine the ways in which, and the
degrees to which, wildlife conservation contributes to human quality of life.


Brown, P. J. (1984). Benefits of outdoor recreation and some ideas for valuing recreation
opportunities. In G. L. Peterson & A. Randall (Eds.), Valuation of wildland resource benefits (pp.
209–220). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Brown, P. J., & Manfredo, M. J. (1987). Social values defined. In D. J. Decker & G. R. Goff (Eds.),
Valuing wildlife: Economic and social perspectives (pp. 12–23). Boulder, CO: Westview.

Decker, D. J., Brown, T. L., & Siemer, W. F. (Eds.). (2001). Human dimensions of wildlife
management in North America. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society.

Giles, R. H., Jr. (1978). Wildlife management. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.

Kellert, S. R. (1980). Contemporary values of wildlife in American Society. In W. W. Shaw & E. H.

Zube (Eds.), Wildlife values. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Experiment Station, U. S. Forest
Service. 2/3
View publication stats

11/13/2014 Wildlife Conservation - Springer

King, R. T. (1947). The future of wildlife in forest land use. Transnational North American wildlife and
natural resources conference.

Margules, C., & Usher, M. B. (1981). Criteria used in assessing wildlife conservation potential: A
review. Biological Conservation, 21(2), 79–109.

Over 8.5 million scientific documents at your fingertips

© Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business M edia 3/3