Environments shape the behavior and life histories of animals, and animals' behaviors and life histories affect how we can act successfully to conserve and manage wildlife species.
How can we use this knowledge? Because environments pose constraints, in any given environment, behaviors have 'better' (more effective, less costly) and 'worse' impacts on an organism's survival and reproduction. Understanding this complex problem requires that we generate testable hypotheses to understand the functional significance of the behaviors we see. We must consider hypotheses in at least six basic areas: the basics of selection, how the basics play out in different environments, how environments shape life history, life history strategies-mating effort, life history strategies-parental effort, and how life histories affect what conservation strategies will work.