Animal Behavior (Third Edition): Chapter 15 - Conservation and Behavior

Elsevier, Animal Behavior (Third Edition), 2022, Pages 531-573
Michael D. Breed and Janice Moore

Animal behavior plays a critical role in conservation efforts. Efforts to captively breed endangered species hinge on understanding the species’ habitat requirements, mating behavior, and parent–offspring interactions. Conservation of species in the wild by creating sanctuaries is most successful if aspects of behavior such as territoriality, dispersal, and migration are factored into sanctuary design. Animal behavior gives biologists tools for measuring the level of disturbance that humans create for wild populations. Encroachment of humans into wildlife habitats makes human–wildlife interactions more frequent and behavior gives us clues about how to minimize negative impacts of humans on wildlife as well as how to help humans avoid injury when they encounter wildlife. Some species of wildlife have become more adept at living in towns and cities, bringing with them damage to landscaping, risk of disease spread, and in some cases risk of injury to humans or their companion animals. Animal behavior helps us to understand how to minimize these impacts and how to improve human–animal co-existence in urban and suburban settings. As human populations continue to expand and climate change impacts on wildlife intensify, knowledge of animal behavior will become increasingly important in conservation efforts.