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Department of Zoology


The latest edition of ‘What Works in Conservation’, the flagship book from the Conservation Evidence project based here in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge, has just been launched and is now available to purchase or to download for free.

‘What Works in Conservation’ is a summary of the evidence for the effectiveness of 1,277 different interventions  -- i.e., things you might do to try and conserve a species or habitat. Each intervention is scored by experts for effectiveness (based on the evidence available), the quality and quantity of the evidence (i.e. the strength of the evidence), and any harms that might arise from the intervention to the target habitat or taxa. These scores lead to each intervention being assigned a colour-coded category from ‘Beneficial’ to ‘Likely to be ineffective or harmful.’ This allows you to get a feel for the effectiveness of an intervention at a glance. To dive deeper into the details of the evidence, links are provided to the free online resource.

The 2018 edition of this book is over 50 percent larger than the 2017 edition, reflecting the new taxa and habitats reviewed by the CE team in the last year. The brand-new chapters in the 2018 edition cover the global conservation of primates, shrublands and heathlands, and peatlands. There’s also a smaller chapter covering ways to manage some animal species in captivity. The existing chapter on controlling freshwater invasive species has been expanded to add more species. Chapters carried over from the 2017 edition cover the conservation of amphibians, bats, birds, and forests, conservation of European farmland biodiversity, and some aspects of enhancing natural pest control and soil fertility. Free, informative and solutions-focused, 'What Works in Conservation' is a must-have resource for conservationists of all types.