Essay on Behavioral Ecology
Conservation behaviour is a burgeoning field at interface between conservation biology and animal behaviour. Actually, a new movement toward integrating behavioral ecology and conservation biology is indicated by recent publication of four books (Animals behaviour and wildlife conservation, 2003; Behaviour and conservation, 2000; Behavioral ecology and conservation Biology, 1998; and Behavioural approaches to conservation in the wild, 1997).
Some ecologists believe that behavioural ecology can be used in six areas viz., baseline behavioural ecological data and conservation problems, baseline behavioural ecological data and conservation intervention, mating systems and conservations intervention, dispersal and inbreeding avoidance and human behavioural ecology. Animal behaviour studies provide valuable information to conservation.
For example, knowledge about mating system is helpful in determining harvest seasons and limits. Dispersal is recognized as a key process in ecology, evolution and conservation biology.
Mechanisms of imprinting related to mate and kin recognition along with food and habitat selection aids in captive breeding and reintroduction programmes. Thus major lines of current interest in behavioural ecology and conservation biology are:
a. Dispersal behaviour.
b. Changing organisms in changing landscapes.
c. Mating system and conservation.
d. Resource based habitat concept and application.
e. Predator- prey interactions.
f. Cooperation and conflict.