Reconciling conservation with animal welfare

Organized by: Miriam A. Zemanova, Environmental Sciences and Humanities Institute Switzerland

The focus of conservation biology has traditionally been on preserving species, populations, and ecosystems [1]. Recently, there has been an increasing debate about whether conservation strategies need to consider the welfare of individual animals as well [2]. Many wildlife can be harmed through conservation research and management, for instance, in invasive sampling, management of invasive species, reintroductions and translocations, culling, or trophy hunting [3-6]. The objective of this session is to open a discussion on animal welfare issues that might arise through some conservation research or management strategies, present different approaches and views on the topic, and find potential synergies between conservation and animal welfare science. 

List of references
[1] Soulé, M.E., What is conservation biology? BioScience, 1985. 35(11): p. 727-734. 
[2] Wallach, A.D., et al., Summoning compassion to address the challenges of conservation. Conservation Biology, 2018. 32(6): p. 1255-1265. 
[3] Baker, S.E., T.M. Sharp, and D.W. Macdonald, Assessing animal welfare impacts in the management of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), European moles (Talpa europaea) and carrion crows (Corvus corone). Plos One, 2016. 11(1): p. e0146298. 
[4] Nelson, M.P., et al., Emotions and the ethics of consequence in conservation decisions: lessons from Cecil the lion. Conservation Letters, 2016. 9(4): p. 302-306. 
[5]  Goddard, P., Animal reintroductions: who is safeguarding animal welfare? 2020. 
[6] Zemanova, M.A., Towards more compassionate wildlife research through the 3Rs principles: moving from invasive to non-invasive methods. Wildlife Biology, 2020. 1(1): p. wlb.00623.


Presentations

Using the Ethical Matrix for analyzing value conflicts in conservation
- Pierfrancesco Biasetti (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany)

Public judgment of rewilding in relation to different views of animal welfare
- Christian Gamborg (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Challenging our thinking about wild animals with common-sense ethical principles
- Tristan Katz (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Meeting both conservation and animal welfare goals in wildlife research
- Miriam Zemanova (Environmental Sciences and Humanities Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland)