Conservation of Wildlife and Ecosystems

Human impacts on the environment are having an important effect on biodiversity. Climate change, population growth, urban expansion, food production, and changing land use are altering ecosystems in profound ways. Biodiversity is critical for Earth’s ecosystems and for human life.

Our faculty, postdocs, and students seek to study and understand the specific impacts that environmental changes, such as habitat loss and global warming, are having on species and ecosystems. Drawing on this information, they work alongside policymakers, NGOs, and other research collaborators to help identify the best strategies for protecting biodiversity, improving outcomes for endangered species, and sustaining the natural resources required for future generations.

More specifically, recent research in this area has covered such topics as forest conversion and logging, oil-palm production, the unsustainable trapping of wild animals, reforestation and other forms of ecological restoration, animal migration patterns, and agricultural land use. Their research methods and approaches encompass both ecology and the social sciences.


Related News

Illegal Hunting in China Threatens Wildlife and Public Health
Oct. 25, 2023
Author
Written by Anna Mazarakis

Illegal hunting and trading of wildlife in China is becoming a significant threat to biodiversity and public health, according to a new paper by a team of researchers that includes two scholars from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. It is the first comprehensive assessment of this issue for China.

Protecting Existing Parks is as Crucial for Biodiversity Conservation as Creating New Protected Areas
June 2, 2023
Author
Written by Staff Writers ; Keely Swan, Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment

The article, published in the journal Science Advances, found that about 70 per cent of the roughly 5000 species analyzed either have no apparent representation in protected areas, occur in protected areas that have been downgraded, downsized or removed from protection, or would…

Social Media and Aerial Mapping of Sea Floor Reveal That Tourists Love Hawaiian Coral Reefs Just a Little Too Much
Jan. 9, 2023
Author
Written by Glen Chua and staff, Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment

Coral reefs are vibrant ecosystems for marine life and provide vital environmental benefits for humanity, such as storm wave mitigation, bountiful fish stocks, and ocean-based livelihoods. They are also a global attraction for tourists, drawing millions of visitors every year and billions of dollars in tourism revenue. However, reef ecosystems…

New Map of “Stopover Hotspots” Provides Insights for Conservation of Eastern U.S. Migratory Landbirds
Jan. 9, 2023
Author
Written by Christian J. Rivera for the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents the first comprehensive map of autumn stopover hotspots of landbirds for the eastern United States. Stopover sites are locations where birds pause between migratory flights in order to rest…

Chronic Underfunding and Delays in Protecting Species Hinder the Endangered Species Act
Oct. 12, 2022
Author
Written by Columbia Climate School and Keely Swan, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Since its passage in 1973, the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been the strongest law to prevent species extinctions in the United States, and has served as a model of conservation policy to other nations. However, the law has resulted in relatively few successes in helping species recover. Out of more than one thousand species that have…

STEP PhD Student Brian Lee Receives Best Student Publication Award from National Taiwan University
Aug. 11, 2022
Author
Written by Keely Swan, Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment

Brian Lee, a PhD student in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) cluster of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, was recently awarded the 2021-22 Best Student Publication Award in the College of Bioresources and Agriculture at National…

Saving Paradise: Why We Must Protect Global Lands Now
June 10, 2022
Author
Written by B. Rose Huber, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Protecting land and water is essential to preserving habitats for wildlife and mitigating harmful climate change effects. This is why many countries — as well as the U.S. federal government and state of California, have pledged to protect 30% of all land and water by 2030, also known as the “30x30” initiative.

Achieving this target at…

Regrow, Not Reuse: How Restoring Abandoned Farms Can Mitigate Climate Change
June 9, 2022
Author
Written by B. Rose Huber, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
The Institute Woods near Princeton University’s campus comprises 589 acres of serene walking trails and a wooden footbridge enjoyed by hikers, runners, and birdwatchers. Like many forests in New Jersey, this local landmark was a patchwork of farm fields and orchards as recently as 1940 — before regrowing into the verdant escape seen today.

Tackling Climate Change’s Most Complex Phenomena
Nov. 9, 2021
Author
Written by Riis L. Williams

A new partnership between Princeton University’s Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) and the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) is pairing students and researchers to work on solutions to today…

How We Measure Biodiversity Can Have Profound Impacts on Land-Use
June 28, 2021
Author
Written by Liana Wait, School of Public and International Affairs

The world’s human population is expanding, which means even more agricultural land will be needed to provide food for this growing population. However, choosing which areas to convert is difficult and depends on agricultural and environmental priorities, which can vary widely.

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