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Conservation Science Group

Farm Land

Research in the Conservation Science Group centres around two broad questions:

  • What are the key threats to wild nature?
  • What are the most promising actions for reversing its decline?

We address these questions by tackling a wide range of issues.

Current research topics include:

  • Reconciling biodiversity conservation and farming;
  • Improving conservation policy and practice through evidence-based decision-making;
  • Understanding the functioning of networks in ecological systems;
  • Improving conservation planning, such as identifying priorities for UK forestry or global mangroves;
  • Understanding drivers of change in global waterbirds;
  • Investigating the impacts of veterinary drugs and spent lead ammunition on bird populations;
  • Quantifying the costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation;
  • Testing the use of bioclimatic models for predicting changes in bird ranges and abundance.

Key Publications 

Balmford, A. 2012. Wild Hope: on the Frontlines of Conservation Success. University of Chicago Press.

Phalan, B., Green, R.E., Dicks, L.V., Dotta, G., Feniuk, C., Lamb, A., Strassburg, B.B.N., Williams, D.R., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Balmford, A. 2016. How can higher-yielding farming help to spare nature? Science 351: 450–451.

Cuthbert, R.J., Taggart, M.A., Mohini, S., Sharma, A., Das, A., Kulkarni, M.D., Deori, P., Ranade, S., Shringarpure, R.N., Galligan, T.H. & Green, R.E. 2016. Continuing mortality of vultures in India associated with illegal veterinary use of diclofenac and a potential threat from nimesulide. Oryx 50: 104–112.

Pearce-Higgins, J.W. & Green, R.E. 2014. Birds and Climate Change: Impacts and Conservation Responses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Amano, T., Székely, T., Sandel, B., Nagy, S., Mundkur, T., Langendoen, T., Blanco, D., Soykan, C.U. & Sutherland, W.J. 2018. Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance. Nature 553: 199–202.

Sutherland, W.J., Butchart, S.H.M., Connor, B., Culshaw, C., Dicks, L.V., Dinsdale, J., Doran, H., Entwistle, A.C., Fleishman, E., Gibbons, D.W., Jiang, Z., Keim, B., Le Roux, X., Lickorish, F.A., Markillie, P., Monk, K.A., Mortimer, D., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Peck, L.S., Pretty, J., Seymour, C.L., Spalding, M.D., Tonneijck, F.H. & Gleave, R.A. 2018. A 2018 Horizon Scan of emerging issues for global conservation and biological diversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33: 47–58.

Full publication list

Contact Details

Group Leaders

Professor Andrew Balmford
01223 (3)31770

Professor Rhys Green
01223 (7)62840

Professor William Sutherland
01223 (3)36686

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

Group Members