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