, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 315-321

The Need for Flexibility in Conservation Practices: Exotic Species as an Example

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Abstract

To garner support for biodiversity from the World’s human population, conservation biologists need an open-minded, integrated conservation strategy. We suggest that this strategy should include efforts to (1) preserve existing high quality, diverse ecosystems, (2) remediate impaired systems, (3) balance the needs of people and ecological resources, and (4) engender appreciation of nature and its services. We refer to these four key tenets as reservation, restoration, reconciliation, and reconnection. We illustrate these concepts by presenting the debate surrounding the management of exotic species from an unusual perspective, the benefits of exotic species. By this example we hope to encourage an integrated approach to conservation in which management strategies can be flexible, adjusting to society’s needs and the overall goals of conservation.