This year Animal Conservation celebrates its tenth anniversary. This auspicious occasion provides us with an ideal opportunity to highlight some of the recent developments here at the journal to our readers, and also outline some of our plans for the future.

Animal Conservation has always sought to provide a forum for the rapid publication of the most current and exciting research in conservation science. We are therefore delighted to announce that our mean time to initial decision on submitted papers is now only 33 days. Similarly, following final acceptance, we are publishing papers online within 8 weeks (all figures for 2006 submissions/publications). We believe that this puts Animal Conservation in the forefront of rapid publication in the field of conservation biology, and we look forward to continuing to provide and improve upon this service.

Another new development at Animal Conservation is the Featured paper. For each issue, the editors select a paper that they feel addresses a controversial or emerging topic. With the permission of the authors, we solicit short commentaries from experts in the field. These commentaries discuss the findings of the study and draw out its wider implications, and are published alongside the paper together with a concluding response by the authors. Our Featured paper section thus provides an opportunity to debate important and often controversial issues in conservation on the basis of new scientific findings. Thus far, our Featured papers have tackled the efficacy of genetic rescue in small populations (the Florida panther: Pimm et al., 2006), the importance of taxonomic validity in conservation (Preble's meadow jumping mouse: Vignieri et al., 2006), and the role of perceived disease risk in moderating bushmeat demand (Cameroon: LeBreton et al., 2006). This issue, our Featured paper addresses the immunological consequences of small population size (New Zealand robins: Hale & Briskie, 2007). These Featured papers sections are offered as free access online at the Animal Conservation website.

Our achievements in the turnaround time of submitted papers, and in the production of our Featured paper section, would not be possible without the sterling work of our Editorial Board, our Editorial Office and the host of commentators and reviewers who assist us on a daily basis. We would like to thank everyone involved for their vital contribution. Sadly, at the end of last year, Keith Crandall stepped down as editor. Keith has been with us since 2003, and has been an invaluable member of the team. We are very sorry to lose him, and wish him well for the future. On a happier note, a new editor to replace Keith in the area of conservation genetics will soon be appointed. In the meantime, we have also created the position of a fifth editor, in recognition of the increasing number of papers that are now submitted to Animal Conservation. This new position will be taken up by Todd Katzner of the National Aviary at Pittsburgh, USA, who works on the conservation and ecology of birds, particularly raptors, with a special interest in Central Asia. Welcome to the team, Todd!

Last year also saw Animal Conservation move publishers, from Cambridge University Press (CUP) to Blackwell Publishing. We would like to thank the staff at CUP for all the hard work and support that they have given our journal since publication began in 1998. We also thank the staff at Blackwell Publishing for giving us such a warm welcome, and for ensuring that Animal Conservation has got off to such a good start at its new home.

Our plans for next year are still under development, but we can give you a sneak preview. In 2008, Animal Conservation will be published more frequently, moving from four to six issues a year. This will help us to ensure even more rapid publication for our papers. In addition, we are introducing Review papers. These provide a comprehensive, succinct – and occasionally controversial – overview of topical issues in conservation science and practice. The first of these, on the feasibility of reconstructing island ecosystems using the case study of Lord Howe Island, is published in the current issue (Hutton, Parkes & Sinclair, 2007), and more will be appearing later in the year.

Animal Conservation's ethos is to publish quantitative papers that are of interest to a broad audience in conservation science. We particularly encourage the submission of papers providing novel insights and addressing issues of general importance. Papers are sent out for review if authors make the case that their study fulfils these criteria. We do not accept papers that are focussed on the conservation needs of single species at single sites or based on old data, unless the authors make a strong case for this wider message. This ensures that our publication is relevant, current and influential. We also have a very broad remit when it comes to disciplines – we encourage submissions across the spectrum from conservation genetics, through behavioural studies, population modelling, ecosystem dynamics and economic analyses, ensuring readers are up to date across the range of approaches to conservation problems. We are now receiving increasing numbers of submissions from around the world, with first authors in 2006 representing 36 countries.

Our thanks again to everyone who has helped to ensure the continued development and success of Animal Conservation over the course of its first ten volumes, and we look forward with enthusiasm to the next 10 years.


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