Current rates of biodiversity decline are unprecedented and largely attributed to anthropogenic influences. Given the scope and magnitude of conservation issues, policy and management interventions must maximize efficiency and efficacy. The relatively new field of conservation physiology reveals the physiological mechanisms associated with population declines, animal- environment relationships and population or species tolerance thresholds, particularly where these relate to anthropogenic factors that necessitate conservation action. We propose a framework that demonstrates an integrative approach between physiology, conservation and policy, where each can inform the design, conduct and implementation of the other. Each junction of the conservation physiology process has the capacity to foster dialogue that contributes to effective implementation, monitoring, assessment and evaluation. This approach enables effective evaluation and implementation of evidence-based conservation policy and management decisions through a process of ongoing refinement, but may require that scientists (from the disciplines of both physiology and conservation) and policy-makers bridge interdisciplinary knowledge gaps. Here, we outline a conceptual framework that can guide and lead developments in conservation physiology, as well as promote innovative research that fosters conservation-motivated policy.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Ecology, Global change, Physiological tolerance, Policy, Resource management, Restoration
Persistent URL
Journal Conservation Physiology
Coristine, L.E. (Laura E.), Robillard, C.M. (Cassandra M.), Kerr, J.T. (Jeremy T.), O'Connor, C.M. (Constance M.), Lapointe, D. (Dominique), & Cooke, S.J. (2014). A conceptual framework for the emerging discipline of conservation physiology. Conservation Physiology, 2(1). doi:10.1093/conphys/cou033