Role of Leadership in Conservation Biology: a Review

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Leadership is a process of community influence where there it is maximizes the efforts of others peoples towards the achievement of objectives in the organization or institutions or anywhere. It is defined as a process by which a person influences others to carry out an objective and directs the association in a way that makes it more coherent and cohesive. In this review paper, I have discussed about the role of leadership in the field of conservation biology. The main objective of this review was to understand that types of study have been done to influence positive impact or thought in the field of conservation biology. It was found that the leadership has always amazing role in the conservation biology sector. By using or developing innovation research tools, research methods, mathematical model and advanced computer based softer programs contributes towards the conservation of nature and several threatened species such as tigers, rhinos and elephants. We reviewed that leadership in the field of conservation biology was contributed directly or indirectly to protect the nature. In this regards, the leaderships is in the field of conservation biology is vital which maintain the sustainable ecosystems in the earth and saving the living animal.

Leadership is a process of community influence (Jago 1982; Hackman 2002), where there it is maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of objectives (Kouzes and Posner, 1987, 2017; Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). It is defined as a process by which a person influences others to carry out an objective and directs the association in a way that makes it more coherent and cohesive (Black, Groombridge and Jones 2011: Bruyere 2015). A good leader is one who is always three steps, kind, motivating, knowledgeable and always concerned for the other people which ahead of the others, and he looks out for the people before himself.

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They build excellence and accomplish this by first building character (Hackman and Wageman 2005; Bruyere 2015). Understandably, they need to be trusted, and prove themselves trustworthy so that people will look up to and admire them. In this way, they make an environment in favor of them. One who strives to be a good leader has to be honest, exciting, bright, and stand firm for what he believes, not backing down (Kotter 1988; Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). Truly committed leaders strive to know more and study continually to pick up their skills, not sitting down and watching life go by. In this way, I understand that a true leader becomes experienced by studying and following the many mistakes and successes of others. Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks (2001) suggested that putting himself out there, in the real world, leader is able to relate to others in their everyday lives. While there is no such thing as a perfect leader, the job should still be done to the best of his ability (Black, Groombridge and Jones 2011).

In the leadership, an intellectual ability included judgmental ability and oral communication ability which make to be a top level in that community. In addition, many authors suggested that physical traits cannot be ignored, such as age, height, weight, and physical attractiveness to be successful. However, sometimes it is not only inborn personality traits that are important but also styles and behaviors that a person learns. A good autocratic leader set their goals without considering the opinions of their followers, and then commands their followers to execute their assigned tasks without question (Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). Hackman and Wageman (2005) stated that consultative leaders solicit the opinions and thoughts of their followers in the goal-setting process but ultimately determine important goals and task assignments on their own, which is mostly, happen in the leadership because of the unique behavior of the leadership. In addition, democratic or participative leaders participate equally in the process with their followers and let the group make decisions. Extremely laid-back leaders, so called laissez-faire leaders, let the group take whatever action its members feel is necessary (Hackman 2002).

There are so many examples of the leadership in the in the different sector in the world. For example, if we are talking about the country- we are led by our president and his advisors. There might be the boss in the business sector. If we are talking the conservation biology sector, there might be the peoples who are leading through different approached and models. Therefore, the leading is a big responsibility not to be taken lightly Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Hackman 2002.

Kotter J. (1988) explained something different on leadership from management. In the company or organization, effective management has always different types of task such as planning for the further works, hiring new staffs, supervising to the employees, etc. to make sure that the initial plan is executed properly (Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). However, the successful leadership goes beyond management of plans and tasks. It envisions the future and sets a new direction for the organization. In addition, successful leaders mobilize all possible means and human resources for the best work and perform; the leaders inspire all members of the organization to hold up the new task or mission and execute it with keenness (Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). The leadership has to perform an amazing in the most of the time in the organization. For example, when an organization faces an uncertain situation, it major responsibilities goes towards the leadership or strong leadership (Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks 2001). However, sometimes management also has to play a vital role, for example when an organization faces internal operational complexity, and then it demands management (Kouzes and Posner, 1987).

Many authors described that this theory probably the first academic theory of leadership. Thomas Carlyle (1841) can be considered one of the pioneers of the trait theory, using such approach to identify the talents, skills and physical characteristics of men who arose to power. Ronald Heifetz (1994) traces the trait theory approach back to the nineteenth-century tradition of associating the history of society to the history of great men.

Situational theory also appeared as a reaction to the trait theory of leadership. This theory assumes that different situations call for different characteristics; according to this group of theories, no single optimal psychographic profile of a leader exists. Herbert Spencer (1884) said that the times produce the person and not the other way around.

In the leadership sector, the next and very popular theory is a functional leadership theory (Hackman and Walton, 1986), which is a particularly practical theory for addressing specific leader behaviors expected to contribute to managerial efficiency. This theory argues that the leader’s main job is to observe that whatever is necessary to group needs is taken care of; thus, a leader can be said to have done their job well when they have contributed to group effectiveness and cohesion (Fleishman et al., 1991; Hackman and Wageman, 2005; Hackman and Walton, 1986). While functional leadership theory has most often been applied to team leadership (Zaccaro, Rittman,and Marks, 2001), it has also been effectively applied to broader organizational leadership as well.

We already understand that there might be something different or unique to be a good leadership. Therefore, the leadership must have to a capacity to think in a different way that you can understand and solve the problem. The vision is one of the prime factors for the leadership. Without vision, we can do anything, therefore the leading means having a vision and sharing it with others. The leadership can understand the problem and their solution if they have strong vision. Jane Goodall, a common name in the field of conservation biology was born on 1934, identified the threats to the chimpanzees in Tanzania, and she worked for social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees (Goodall, 1966). Her vision was to conservation the wild chimpanzees in the human dominated landscape of Tanzania (Goodall, 1966, 1993; de Wall 2005).

The motivation might be another factor in the field of leadership (Kouzes and Posner, 1987). A leader knows how to motivate better than anyone else; it is one of their main functions as people managers (Hackman and Walton 1986). Through motivation, a leader channels their coworker’s energy and professional potential in order to achieve objectives (Morgeson and Hofmann 1999). Goodall (1966) motivated to the local people to protect the primate species in Tanzania. Goodall (1966) raised conservation awareness programs, highlighting the species role in the nature, developing the positive attitudes’ of local peoples towards primate conservation. Black, Meredith and Groombridge (2011) stated that using the business skill in the field of conservation sector also helps to promote the sustainable development. The policy maker and local people must have agreed with this (Black and Groombridge 2010).

One of the basic qualities of any leader seeking success is precisely emotional intelligence (Hackman and Walton 1986; Kouzes and Posner, 1987, 2017), that ability -often innate -that makes leaders put themselves in the place of others, understand their concerns and solve problems. Leaders know the secrets of their businesses and therefore can empathize with customers and members of their teams: that empathy gets to inspire and establish links that will ultimately lead to success (Hackman and Walton 1986; Kouzes and Posner, 1987).

Black, Groombridge, and Jones, (2011) stated that true leadership seeks continuous improvement and leaders have the ability to turn the people in their teams into stars, people who have improved and developed their skills through the influence of their leader (Bruyere, 2015). Black, Groombridge, and Jones, (2011) approach leadership in conservation to be more effective achievements.

Understanding food ecology and behavior of the wild carnivores can contribute to maintain prey predator level and maintain forest and grassland ecosystem. Ackerman, Lindzey, and Hernker, (1984) developed a mathematical equation (Y= 1.98+0.035x) to understand the food ecology of the carnivore. Such equation was novel in the field of large predators’ food behavioral ecology, and now this equation has been widespread (more than 10000 citations). Ackerman, Lindzey, and Hernker, (1984) developed the equation on Cougar food habitat, however this equation has been also used to the lions, tigers, leopard, etc. There was a huge conflict between people and carnivores in 1960s and 1967s. People had no ideas about the prey selection and food choice of the carnivores, people had no ideas abou the contribution of wild or domestic prey to the diet of large predator. In addition, people had strong thought that predators kills to livestock and they mostly depend on the livestock. In fact in 1984, Ackerman, Lindzey, and Hernker, (1984) equation solved these questions.

Wildlife conservation issues are worldwide. Wildlife is facing threats due to many reasons such as anthropogenic pressure, hunting, etc. Wildlife’s’ habitat is shirking, as a result people and wildlife conflict is increasing day by day. Hines (2013) developed the computer based programs called the PRESENCE: Software to estimate patch occupancy of the species. Such types programs helps to understand the species distribution and occupancy, and helpful to mitigate the human and wildlife conflict. Similarly, Efford (2009) also developed the program called DENSITY. According to Efford (2009), the program DENSITY gives a figure or number of the species in the particular habitat.

Burnham, Anderson and Laake (1980) also developed a method called line transect sampling, and was to estimation of density of ungulates. Such models was mostly used to know the density of deer species, but these days line transect sampling is being use for many wild species even in the field of Ornithology.

The challenging thing in the field of conservation biology is to understand the species population. There are some species such as deer, elephant or rhinos that we can count directly, but direct count method is not possible for the nocturnal species such as tigers or lions. We cannot employ any programs unless we have estimated population figure. To answer such question, White et al., (1982) developed a model and called capture-recapture sampling. This is for the nocturnal species and based on camera trap study. We can estimate nocturnal species population and density based on the stripe, their photographic rate, study area, and species’ birth and death rate calculation (White et al., 1982). The camera trap sampling (White et al., 1982) have been a viral in the field of wildlife conservation. There are latest upgraded models have been arrived in the world.

This study concluded that role of leadership in the field of conservation biology is significantly appreciated. Developing theories, models and software are the noticeable work regarding species conservation and balance the natural ecosystems. It was concluded that researchers or leaders develop something now which is always government body or stakeholders catch up to deliver up to the local level.


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