Welcome to the final module of LIVE - conservation and protection. So what is conservation?
Conservation is the study of the loss of biodiversity around the world and research into ways humans can stop and reverse this loss. Can you think of any organisations near you that help conserve the environment?
Extinction is the most obvious and dramatic loss of biodiversity. The species that are closest to extinction are the ones that need the most conservation and protection. There are lots of ways a species can become threatened with extinction, many of them caused by humans. Can you think of any natural or human threats which cause species to decline? We'll look at some of them in more detail later in the topic.
If a species declines then even if conservationists manage to save them them their genetic diversity may have been reduced (as small populations become inbred). This makes them more susceptible to disease or illness. To help cnservationists may implement breeding programmes to introduce new genes to the population to stop this.
Conservation is involved with studying all kinds of losses, of species right up to whole ecosystems and understanding the what is responsible for the loss. Conservationists also develop ways to prevent losses, and if possible, restore biodiversity.