Recent extinctions and the continuing threats to the survival of rare species will make conservation biology crucial in the twenty-first century. Conservation genetics for wildlife is an emerging challenge for humanity because it is accepted that a number of species and its populations are under oppression by a huge human expansion. Conservation genetics is the science that aims to minimize the risk of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) recognizes three hierarchical levels to conserve biodiversity: genetic diversity (populations), species (taxon ascertainment), and ecosystems (living organisms and their interactions). In view of the world's imminent biodiversity crisis, the risk of extinction at several biotic levels is nowadays unavoidable and requires urgent action. One prime conservation goal is focusing on preserving the genetic variation. The main reasons are: (1) to preserve a representation of past evolution and (2) to maintain raw material for future evolution, favoring the balance of ecosystems. Having these aims in mind, a new approach utilizes different metrics, such as phylogenetic diversity, split distance, and heightened evolutionary distinctiveness, which are being considered for immediate practical use to manage threat species and stocks submitted to new policies for conservation.
Part of the book: Phylogenetics