Conservation Biology + Genetics = Conservation Genetics
Animals, plants, and other species become endangered when their normal habitats are lost or altered. Effective management of ecosystems can help preserve threatened species.
The science of Conservation Biology studies individuals and populations that have been affected by habitat loss, exploitation, and/or environmental change. That information is used to make informed decisions to ensure the survival of organisms in the future.
The science of Genetics is the study of inheritance and the investigation of the genes responsible for inherited traits.
Put the two together and you get the science of Conservation Genetics. Conservation in the past has been addressed from a mathematical, evolutionary, or taxonomic point of view. Genetic studies supply conservation scientists and ecological managers with new insights into the extent of diversity among the individuals in a population. Without using genetics, we may conserve the wrong population or waste valuable resources on a population that isn't endangered!
Funding provided by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Precollege Science Education Initiative for Biomedical Research Institutions Award (Grants 51000125, 51000176)