Wild and free: what are we conserving and how do we measure it?
Saving a species from extinction is the minimum goal for conservationists. Ideally, we should conserve wild, flourishing, adaptive and self-sustaining populations. The IUCN recognises this ideal and states that only wild subpopulations can be considered for Red Listing. But what is wild? The absence of a measurable definition of wildness results in inconsistent Red Listing and thus inaccurate conservation progress reporting. As wildness exists along a spectrum from captive bred to completely free-roaming and many mammal species are subject to intensive breeding and production, which exist on a ...
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