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Essentials of Conservation Biology

Sixth Edition

Richard B. Primack

May 2014

ISBN: 9781605352893

603 pages

In Stock

Price: £97.99

Combines theory and applied and basic research to explain the connections between conservation biology and ecology. If you are a lecturer interested in adopting this title for your course, please contact your Oxford representative to arrange a local price.



Published by Sinauer Associates, an imprint of Oxford University Press.

Essentials of Conservation Biology, Sixth Edition, combines theory and applied and basic research to explain the connections between conservation biology and ecology, climate change biology, the protection of endangered species, protected area management, environmental economics, and sustainable development.

  • The book is beautifully illustrated and written in clear, non-technical language, making it well-suited for undergraduate courses.
  • Each chapter begins with general ideas and principles, which are illustrated with choice examples from the current literature.
  • The most instructive examples are discussed in boxes highlighting projects, species, and issues of particular significance.
  • Chapters end with summaries, an annotated list of suggested readings, and discussion questions.

New to this edition

  • Coverage of the latest information available on a number of topics, including the expanding system of marine protected areas and linkages between conservation and global change.
  • New approaches culled from the recent literature on topics such as citizen science, aerial drones in conservation management, the economic value of wild pollinators, the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in aquatic environments, and payments for ecosystem servicesare highlighted.
  • The full-color illustration program has been updated.
  • Major points from the text have been highlighted as sidebars and serve as useful study aids.

About the Author(s)

Richard B. Primack, Boston University

Richard B. Primack is a Professor in the Biology Department at Boston University. He received his B.A. at Harvard University in 1972 and his Ph.D. at Duke University in 1976, and then was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury and Harvard University. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong and Tokyo University, and has been awarded Bullard and Putnam Fellowships from Harvard University and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Dr. Primack was President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Conservation. Twenty-eight foreign-language editions of his conservation biology textbooks (the Essentials and the shorter Primer of Conservation Biology) have been produced, with local coauthors.

Table of Contents

    I. Major Issues That Define the Discipline
    1: What Is Conservation Biology?
    2: What Is Biological Diversity?
    3: Where Is the World's Biological Diversity Found?
    II. Valuing Biodiversity
    4: Ecological Economics and Direct Use Values
    5: Indirect Use Value
    6: Ethical Values
    III. Threats to Biological Diversity
    7: Extinction
    8: Vulnerability to Extinction
    9: Habitat Destruction, Fragmentation, Degradation, and Global Climate Change
    10: Overexploitation, Invasive Species, and Disease
    IV. Conservation at the Population and Species Levels
    11: Problems of Small Populations
    12: Applied Population Biology
    13: Establishing New Populations
    14: Ex Situ Conservation Strategies
    V. Practical Applications
    15: Establishing Protected Areas
    16: Designing Networks of Protected Areas
    17: Managing Protected Areas
    18: Conservation Outside Protected Areas
    19: Restoration Ecology
    VI. Conservation and Human Societies
    20: Conservation and Sustainable Development at the Local and National Levels
    21: An International Approach to Conservation and Sustainable Development
    22: An Agenda for the Future


"Essentials of Conservation Biology does have a lot to offer and is a well-written text, with current examples up to and including papers from 2014. Terms are well defined in the text, and the history of conservation biology as a field is well explained. Chapters are engaging and well thought out, including box articles, summaries, and suggested readings for each chapter." - David W. MacDougall, Plant Science Bulletin

Additional Resources

The Essentials of Conservation Biology Instructor's Resource Library includes all figures (line-art illustrations and photographs) and tables from the textbook, provided as both high- and low-resolution JPEGs. All have been formatted and optimized for excellent projection quality. Also included are ready-to-use PowerPoint slides of all figures and tables.

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