The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) was created in June 1993 by the American Museum of Natural History in order to bring the Museum's extensive scientific and educational resources to bear in conservation decisions and actions. The CBC's programs focus on areas of the world where biodiversity is both rich and of great conservation concern. Currently, the CBC has projects in the Bahamas, Bolivia, Madagascar, Vietnam, and the greater New York metropolitan region.
BahamasSupporting Marine Reserve Design. The government of the Bahamas recently initiated one of the world's first marine reserve networks. This provides CBC researchers and colleagues with an unprecedented opportunity to analyze the physical, biological, economic, and cultural processes affecting reef ecosystems, and to integrate all of these aspects into recommendations for conservation strategies.
BoliviaBiodiversity Conservation through Integrated Management (COBIMI). Since 1998, the CBC has been partnering with Bolivian scientists and managers to survey critical habitats in protected areas. Their work provides data for management and monitoring, and for developing outreach programs that encourage broad participation in conservation. Project researchers continue to survey animal groups in the Bolivian tropical Andes, an epicenter of global biodiversity that contains a greater diversity of plant and vertebrate species (many of which are found nowhere else) than any other region in the world.
MadagascarApplying Conservation Genetics to the Study of Humpback Whales. Since 1996, the CBC's partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Madagascar has grown from a simple survey of humpback whales in Antongil Bay to a multinational marine-mammal conservation effort. The CBC's work has led to the first legislation governing ecotourism and whale watching in Malagasy waters, providing protection for more than 1,000 humpbacks along their annual migration route.
VietnamEvaluating Threatened Conservation Areas. In 1998, the CBC began working with the Vietnamese government to map species distribution and document resource use by human populations. These studies helped to determine placement of new protected areas as the country looked to double the size of its forest protected-area system. Based on the CBC's recommendations, the Vietnamese government plans to officially establish a new national biodiversity reserve in 2001.
New York Metropolitan RegionConserving Natural Areas at Home. In 1999, the CBC's Metropolitan Biodiversity Program joined with key conservation partners to launch The New York State Biodiversity Projectan ambitious collaborative effort to assess for the first time what is known about the biodiversity of New York State. The Metropolitan Biodiversity Program also promotes local initiatives to highlight the importance of invertebrates to conservation.
International Graduate Student Fellowship Program. The CBC developed this fellowship program in 1994 to provide a multidisciplinary course of study in systematics and conservation biology for international students at the Museum and four participating universities.
Integrated Conservation Biology Curriculum Materials for Tropical Countries Project. Begun in 2000, this project creates innovative materials for educators teaching at the university and graduate levels in developing countries. This project will have a profound impact as it generates well-trained conservation biologists in countries where most of the world's animals and plants reside.
Annual Symposia on Biodiversity. The CBC hosts annual symposia that invite scientists, professionals, educators, decision-makers, and members of the general public to explore an issue related to biodiversity. To date, topics have included biodiversity science and policy, the value of biodiversity to human health, the extinction process, and the role of recent technological advances in conserving genetic diversity.
Listen to talks given at the Museum.
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