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Effective Conservation ScienceData Not Dogma$
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Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808978.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 May 2021

Conservation bias: What have we learned?

Conservation bias: What have we learned?

(p.181) Chapter 28 Conservation bias: What have we learned?
Effective Conservation Science

Brian Silliman

Stephanie Wear

Oxford University Press

Conservation science is unique among scientific disciplines in that it was founded on a set of normative principles. The often dogmatic adherence to these principles has made conservation science vulnerable to confirmation bias. When confronted with data, many foundational ideas in conservation, such as all nonnative species are bad, reserves are the best method to save nature, and biodiversity is declining locally, are found to be inconsistent or inaccurate. Evaluation of the validity of these ideas, however, is not crippling. Instead critical evaluation provides opportunities to learn and pivot to take advantage of new opportunities. These new conservation frontiers include planning to co-exist with nature in addition to protecting nature from humans, and creating novel and hybrid ecosystems in addition to restoring ecosystems to a pristine state. The future holds great promise for nature to expand and thrive if data are used to correct biases and conservation practices are adjusted accordingly.

Keywords:   conservation science, normative principles, confirmation bias, novel ecosystems, biodiversity

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