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Wildlife conservation is the science of analyzing and protecting the Earth’s biological diversity, which is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity on the Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species. Wildlife conservation is the process of individuals and organization to protect and preserves these species through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. There are many wildlife conservation societies and organizations that work tirelessly to save wild lands and wildlife through international conservation and education. These groups strive to change attitudes toward nature and to protect natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species. They also work to promote more efficient use of the Earth’s resources and energy to reduce pollution. Environmental preservation, mainly within the United States, is the strict setting aside of natural resources to prevent damage caused by contact with humans or by human activities, such as logging, mining, hunting and fishing. This differs somewhat from conservation in that conservation allows for some degree of industrial development, within sustainable limits. In other parts of the world, preservation and conservation are often used interchangeably.

Human influence over the Earth’s ecosystems has been so extensive within the last 10,000 years that scientists have difficulty estimating the total number of species lost in this era. The rates of deforestation, reef destruction, wetlands filling and other human acts are proceeding much faster than human assessment of the Earth's species. The matter of ongoing species loss is made more complex by the fact that most of the Earth's species have not been described or evaluated for endangerment. Overpopulation of humans on the Earth has been the main threat. With overpopulation comes mass agriculture, deforestation, overgrazing, slash and burn urban development, pesticide use and global warming. An endangered species is a population of an organism which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is few in numbers and/or is threatened by changing environment. Many countries have laws offering protection to these species.

Wildlife conservation societies can be local, regional, national or global. They can be private or government run and almost every country across the world has its share of environmental activism. Wildlife environmentalists fall into three different groups: Dark, Light and Bright Greens. Light Greens see protecting the environment as a personal responsibility. They do not seek fundamental political reform, but instead focus on environmentalism as a lifestyle choice. In contrast, Dark Greens believe that environmental problems are an inherent part of industrialized capitalism and they seek radical political change. Bright Greens, the most recent group to develop, believe that radical changes are needed in the economic and political operation of society in order to make it sustainable, but that better designs, new technologies and more widely distributed social innovations are the means to make those changes.


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