Do you know the difference between preservation and conservation?

I am asking this because a lot of answers about animals use reasons such as preserving endangered species or preserving habitat. Scientists typically are more interested in conserving species or habitats. I am just interested in hearing some answers about the differences between the two.


By the way, I'm a scientist so scientifically I know the meanings of both, but what I'm interested in is without you looking up anything, what do the terms mean to you.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is just my thinking, so it might not be accurate, but:

    Preservation involves saving things, like species or habitats, that might otherwise be destroyed by human neglect. For example, if somebody says that we shouldn't build condos on Florida's swamplands because they are home to a lot of endangered species, that's preservation.

    Conservation, on the other hand, refers to using resources wisely so that we do not damage the environment or destroy our ability to use those resources in the future. Farmers rotate the fields they use to grow crops so that they don't destroy the nutrient base in any one patch of land. That allows them to plant crops year after year.

    I suppose you could argue that the terms are synonymous, and many people seem to use them interchangeably. Either way, they're both good ideas and we would do well to practice them.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Preservation means to leave the organism alone except to increase its population. It is most appropriate for imperilled species, such as the whooping crane. Conservation means "wise use". In the restricted sense of wildlife conservation, it means to harvest so as to maintain the population at a sustainable level. Game animals come to mind. Under some circumstances, it can involve preservation.

  • 1 decade ago

    The two terms are pretty much interchangable. The only difference is that preservation means that the land is completely off limits for human interference - including the care of endangered species.

    Conservation means that humans may still use the land, just use it more carefully.

  • 4 years ago

    Conservation is just "wise use" and encompasses preservation. It can also mean increasing or decreasing the resource, maintaining a sustained yield, or even extirpation. Preservation is just maintenance of the status quo.

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