Scientific Seminar

2010 Wildlife management

Tuesday 23 February 2010, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Canberra 

Managing wildlife populations and ecosystems or conserving threatened species are complex activities that include many interrelated elements, with consideration of animal welfare often only given a minor role. But the impact of human activity on wildlife and many of the conservation goals we set to protect Australian biodiversity can have serious implications for animal welfare, in both positive and negative ways.

The 2010 RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar brought the issue of animal welfare in wildlife management and conservation to the fore, and examined the way in which these activities can at times come into conflict with animal welfare goals, or at other times converge to produce outcomes that benefit both welfare and conservation. The Seminar broadly examined the animal welfare issues associated with the management of wildlife across four overlapping themes:

  • the impact and management of threatening processes, such as invasive species
  • the conservation of threatened species
  • the impacts of urbanisation and agricultural development on wildlife
  • the impact of climate change on wildlife conservation.

The topic raised some difficult questions, including: When should the welfare of wildlife override human interests? Should environmental impacts carry more weight than agricultural or direct economic impacts? When it comes to animal welfare and conservation, should we be concerned with the welfare of individual animals, populations, species, or ecosystems? And how much should we intervene to improve animal welfare when populations have been damaged by human activity or development?



Previous Scientific Seminars

2009 Animals and human health.

2008 Animals in transit: The journey ahead.

2007 How much space does an elephant need? The impact of confinement on animal welfare.

2006 The Five Freedoms and beyond: improving welfare of production animals.

2005 Cruelty to animals: a human problem.

2004 Welfare underwater - issues with aquatic animals.

2003 Solutions for achieving humane vertebrate pest control.

2002 Equine welfare: balancing tradition and science.

2001 Pets or pests? The future of companion animal ownership.

2000 Animal welfare in the new millennium: towards a national approach.

1999 Scientific evidence and improvements in animal welfare: are we ignoring the obvious?