predatory hawk flying

Predators can impact ecosystems through the process of ‘top-down’ control, at times resulting in changes in species composition, changes in species diversity, and regime shifts. Top predators can also help stabilize ecosystems by keeping under control the effects of more abundant smaller predators. Accordingly, understanding predators is essential to understanding how ecosystems function. The Conservation Science Institute’s Ocean Initiative’s predators program is a science-based research and management program focused on the application of cutting-edge whole ecosystem research and monitoring. The program incorporates modeling approaches for the purpose of promoting marine conservation and ecosystem considerations into ecosystem decision-making.