Motivations for Conserving Urban Biodiversity

Dearborn, Donald C. and Kark, Salit (2010) Motivations for Conserving Urban Biodiversity. Conservation Biology, 24 2: 432-440. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01328.x

Author Dearborn, Donald C.
Kark, Salit
Title Motivations for Conserving Urban Biodiversity
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2010-04
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01328.x
Open Access Status
Volume 24
Issue 2
Start page 432
End page 440
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In a time of increasing urbanization, the fundamental value of conserving urban biodiversity remains controversial. How much of a fixed budget should be spent on conservation in urban versus nonurban landscapes? The answer should depend on the goals that drive our conservation actions, yet proponents of urban conservation often fail to specify the motivation for protecting urban biodiversity. This is an important shortcoming on several fronts, including a missed opportunity to make a stronger appeal to those who believe conservation biology should focus exclusively on more natural, wilder landscapes. We argue that urban areas do offer an important venue for conservation biology, but that we must become better at choosing and articulating our goals. We explored seven possible motivations for urban biodiversity conservation: preserving local biodiversity, creating stepping stones to nonurban habitat, understanding and facilitating responses to environmental change, conducting environmental education, providing ecosystem services, fulfilling ethical responsibilities, and improving human well-being. To attain all these goals, challenges must be faced that are common to the urban environment, such as localized pollution, disruption of ecosystem structure, and limited availability of land. There are, however, also challenges specific only to particular goals, meaning that different goals will require different approaches and actions. This highlights the importance of specifying the motivations behind urban biodiversity conservation. If the goals are unknown, progress cannot be assessed. 
Keyword Cities
Ecosystem Services
Human health
Urban biodiversity conservation
Urban planning
Conservation Biology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 103 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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