Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017)

A call for conservation scientists to empirically study the effects of human population policies on biodiversity loss

Niki Rust
Laura Kehoe
University of Victoria
This image of the cover of this issue of The Journal of Population and Sustainability has the title in block letters on a grey-green background.

Published 2017-05-01


  • family planning,
  • fertility,
  • overconsumption,
  • overpopulation,
  • population growth,
  • population health and environment
  • ...More

How to Cite

Rust, N., & Kehoe, L. (2017). A call for conservation scientists to empirically study the effects of human population policies on biodiversity loss. The Journal of Population and Sustainability, 1(2), 53–65. https://doi.org/10.3197/jps.2017.1.2.53


The world is changing more quickly now than it ever has before, predominantly due to our large consumption rates and population size. Despite this epoch being well-accepted as the 'Anthropocene', it is surprising that there is still a lack of willingness by many conservation scientists to engage with the consequences of human population dynamics on biodiversity. We highlight the importance of addressing the effects of our population abundance, density and growth rate on conservation and note that environmental organisations are beginning to embrace this problem but the take-up amongst conservation researchers to empirically study their effect on biodiversity is slow. We argue that the lack of published research may partly be because the topic is still considered taboo. We therefore urge conservation scientists to direct more of their research efforts on this issue, particularly to examples that highlight the effects of Population, Health and Environment (PHE) projects and female education initiatives on biodiversity.


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