In this essay we explore questions on how to increase the visibility and utility of genetic information for biodiversity managers and policy makers. This is discussed in the light of Aichi CBD Target 13, which for the first time impels signatories to minimise genetic erosion and safeguard genetic diversity. Drawing on qualitative results from a questionnaire sent to European conservation professionals by the ConGRESS Framework 7 Support Action (http://www.congressgenetics.eu), we summarise our preliminary findings on the attitudes and experiences of European conservation professionals in using genetics. We then discuss the implications of these findings for academics involved in conservation genetics and suggest that a much closer partnership between academic conservation geneticists and conservation practitioners is necessary if the full potential of genetic tools in conservation is to be realised.
Conservation Genetics Resources, 2013, Vol 5, Issue 2, p. 593-598