Conservation in Human-Dominated Landscapes
Gretchen Daily of Stanford University and her colleagues are spending a lot of their time trying to work conservation into the everyday fabric of how we live. The conventional approach to conservation has been largely that of setting aside protected areas for endangered species. Reserves are important and essential for saving some species but reserves will protect only a small fraction of the plant and animal species with which we share the planet. Ecosystems, or Mother Nature if you will, provide us with the basics of life every day: water, air, food, fiber, and with more than 6 billion people on the Earth and 4 billion more coming, we can no longer take ecosystems and their services for granted. The important and exciting challenge for ecologists is to figure out how we can conserve ecosystems in an economically rational way. We spoke with Professor Daily about how conservation can be integrated into a wide range of human activities.