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Conservation genetics produces basic knowledge that forms part of the catalogue of arguments for nature conservation. But it is also used in case studies, in which answers to specific questions from conservation management are sought for, e.g. studies on implementation success. Applications of conservation genetics range from the determination of ecological processes such as connectivity or fragmentation, across species identification – e.g. the detection of species from water samples through environmental DNA and barcoding – to the determination of genetic fitness encompassing inbreeding, adaptation and adaptability. A new theme is genetic monitoring. Here, changes in the genetic diversity of populations and species are assessed across space and time. The present article provides an overview of the importance and the possibilities of conservation genetics in practical conservation management.