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Conservation of biodiversity is a broad field of study that involves the participation of scientists, policy-makers, environmental preservation advocates, and landowners. The best tips for conserving biodiversity would include engaging with all of these groups. Political advocacy is one means of conserving biodiversity as legislation may be enacted to protect species and habitats. Supporting efforts to educate the public on specific ways to conserve biodiversity is another important tip. Farmers and companies active in the agricultural industry also have many opportunities to conserve biodiversity in how they manage the habitats on their properties.
Advocacy efforts to preserve biodiversity on both public and private lands are critical to the overall success of the effort, as a small minority of the world's flora and fauna are found on public lands. Major environmental groups supported by donations and volunteers may advocate for specific measures to preserve biodiversity through public events, protests, or other activities. At times, they may encounter opposition from landowners or public officials who want to develop natural resources for their perceived economic value. Some of these natural resource areas may also be common-pool resources. These are natural environments, like a lake or a stream, that may be used by a group of people, but not owned by any one person or entity.
Political action is a common method for conserving biodiversity. In many historical cases, lobbying public officials who have decision-making authority over public lands has resulted in laws to protect biodiversity. The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one example. Political lobbying for stiffer penalties and controls over industrial pollution and environmentally harmful pollutants, like DDT, has also been an effective strategy. This pesticide had a devastating effect on large birds of prey, because it thinned their eggshells.
Public education efforts for landowners or stewards have proved very important to conserving biodiversity. Suburban developments, large farms and riparian zones may be situated on privately-owned property. Land management practices that are under the control of landowners can have a major impact on biodiversity of wildlife. Natural management of land through the use of non-toxic methods in pest control, lawn maintenance, and cultivation of diverse plantings can foster biodiversity in suburban and rural areas.
Robust natural hydrologic systems are also vital to conserving biodiversity. Whether on private or public lands, wise management of these resources is crucial to conserving biodiversity. In some areas, beavers have been reintroduced on private and public lands to restore biodiversity. Native plant species have also been reintroduced, and this has proved a successful strategy in some cases. Scientists document these restoration activities and add to the pool of knowledge on how to conserve biodiversity.
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