Pacific Conservation Biology is dedicated to conservation in the Pacific region, which is defined broadly as the western Pacific (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania), the north Pacific (including Russia), and the islands of the central Pacific across to countries on the North American and South American continents bordering on the eastern Pacific. In common with the rest of the world, the Pacific must contend with human population growth, the challenge of sustainable management of natural resources, and global issues of conservation and human welfare. Uniquely, the Pacific has been profoundly affected by European colonisation over a very short time period, leading to significant problems of overexploitation and introduction of exotic species alongside the human challenges of governance, sustainability and human rights in a post-colonial world.
This virtual issue addresses conservation issues that are global in relevance but Pacific in context. Catastrophes can lead to extinctions of geographically limited species, as illustrated by the eruption of Bárcena Volcano off the Mexican coast (Brattstrom 2015). Conservation strategies need to be developed and implemented for endangered invertebrates (Brodie et al. 2016), vertebrates (Heise-Pavlov and Gillanders 2016, Pikacha et al. 2016, Kemp 2017), and flora (Huish et al. 2015), while population genetic and phylogenetic studies make important contributions to management (Boseto et al. 2016, Pacioni et al. 2017, Yabaki et al. 2016). Scientific and social disputes need to be resolved regarding the use of biodiversity surrogates and the management of conservation reserves (Chen et al. 2016, Jackson et al. 2016). Lastly, social, political and legal contexts influence conservation decisions (Clemann 2015). Through these papers and others, Pacific Conservation Biology addresses the ‘big questions’ in conservation, providing a forum for conservation scientists, natural resource managers and science communicators to explore the answers in a Pacific context.