Conservation biology is very much an uphill battle. Human populations and their consumption of resources continue to grow, and more and more habitat is lost every day. The future does not look good for a growing number of species, although on a brighter note we would have lost even more species by now if we had no conservation programmes. Molecular genetics can help us to make informed decisions about the management of both wild and captive populations, and for this reason conservation genetics remains one of the most important applications of molecular ecology. There are, however, many other reasons why molecular ecology can be considered an applied science, and some of these will be considered in our next and final chapter.

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