Deconstructing compassionate conservation

Matthew W. Hayward, Alex Callen, Benjamin L. Allen, Guy Ballard, Femke Broekhuis, Cassandra Bugir, Rohan H. Clarke, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Jennifer C. Daltry, Harriet T. Davies-Mostert, Peter J. S. Fleming, Andrea S. Griffin, Lachlan G. Howell, Graham I. H. Kerley, Kaya Klop-Toker, Sarah Legge, Tom Major, Ninon Meyer, Robert A. Montgomery & 15 others Katherine Moseby, Daniel M. Parker, Stephanie Periquet, John Read, Robert Scanlon, Rebecca Seeto, Craig Shuttleworth, Michael J. Somers, Cottrell T. Tamessar, Katherine Tuft, Rose Upton, Marcia Valenzuela-Molina, Adrian Wayne, Ryan R. Witt, Wolfgang Wuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Recently, compassionate conservation has been promoted as an alternative to conventional conservation philosophy. We believe examples presented by compassionate conservationists are deliberately or arbitrarily chosen to focus on mammals; inherently not compassionate; and offer ineffective conservation solutions. Compassionate conservation arbitrarily focuses on charismatic species, notably large predators and megaherbivores. The philosophy is not compassionate when it leaves invasive predators in the environment to cause harm to vastly more individuals of native species or uses the fear of harm by apex predators to terrorize mesopredators. Hindering the control of exotic species (megafauna, predators) in situ will not improve the conservation condition of the majority of biodiversity even if compassionate conservationists do no harm to individuals of the exotic species. The positions taken by so‐called compassionate conservationists on particular species and on conservation actions could be extended to hinder other forms of conservation, including translocations, conservation fencing, and fertility control. Animal welfare is incredibly important to conservation, but ironically compassionate conservation does not offer the best welfare outcomes to animals and is often ineffective in achieving conservation goals. Consequently, compassionate conservation may threaten public and governmental support for conservation because of the general publics’ limited understanding of conservation problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-768
Number of pages9
JournalConservation Biology
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • evidence-based conservation
  • animal welfare
  • animal rights
  • effective conservation
  • invasives
  • invasive species
  • lethal control
  • translocation

Cite this

Hayward, M. W., Callen, A., Allen, B. L., Ballard, G., Broekhuis, F., Bugir, C., ... Wuster, W. (2019). Deconstructing compassionate conservation. Conservation Biology, 33(4), 760-768. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13366
Hayward, Matthew W. ; Callen, Alex ; Allen, Benjamin L. ; Ballard, Guy ; Broekhuis, Femke ; Bugir, Cassandra ; Clarke, Rohan H. ; Clulow, John ; Clulow, Simon ; Daltry, Jennifer C. ; Davies-Mostert, Harriet T. ; Fleming, Peter J. S. ; Griffin, Andrea S. ; Howell, Lachlan G. ; Kerley, Graham I. H. ; Klop-Toker, Kaya ; Legge, Sarah ; Major, Tom ; Meyer, Ninon ; Montgomery, Robert A. ; Moseby, Katherine ; Parker, Daniel M. ; Periquet, Stephanie ; Read, John ; Scanlon, Robert ; Seeto, Rebecca ; Shuttleworth, Craig ; Somers, Michael J. ; Tamessar, Cottrell T. ; Tuft, Katherine ; Upton, Rose ; Valenzuela-Molina, Marcia ; Wayne, Adrian ; Witt, Ryan R. ; Wuster, Wolfgang. / Deconstructing compassionate conservation. In: Conservation Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 33, No. 4. pp. 760-768.
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abstract = "Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Recently, compassionate conservation has been promoted as an alternative to conventional conservation philosophy. We believe examples presented by compassionate conservationists are deliberately or arbitrarily chosen to focus on mammals; inherently not compassionate; and offer ineffective conservation solutions. Compassionate conservation arbitrarily focuses on charismatic species, notably large predators and megaherbivores. The philosophy is not compassionate when it leaves invasive predators in the environment to cause harm to vastly more individuals of native species or uses the fear of harm by apex predators to terrorize mesopredators. Hindering the control of exotic species (megafauna, predators) in situ will not improve the conservation condition of the majority of biodiversity even if compassionate conservationists do no harm to individuals of the exotic species. The positions taken by so‐called compassionate conservationists on particular species and on conservation actions could be extended to hinder other forms of conservation, including translocations, conservation fencing, and fertility control. Animal welfare is incredibly important to conservation, but ironically compassionate conservation does not offer the best welfare outcomes to animals and is often ineffective in achieving conservation goals. Consequently, compassionate conservation may threaten public and governmental support for conservation because of the general publics’ limited understanding of conservation problems.",
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Hayward, MW, Callen, A, Allen, BL, Ballard, G, Broekhuis, F, Bugir, C, Clarke, RH, Clulow, J, Clulow, S, Daltry, JC, Davies-Mostert, HT, Fleming, PJS, Griffin, AS, Howell, LG, Kerley, GIH, Klop-Toker, K, Legge, S, Major, T, Meyer, N, Montgomery, RA, Moseby, K, Parker, DM, Periquet, S, Read, J, Scanlon, R, Seeto, R, Shuttleworth, C, Somers, MJ, Tamessar, CT, Tuft, K, Upton, R, Valenzuela-Molina, M, Wayne, A, Witt, RR & Wuster, W 2019, 'Deconstructing compassionate conservation', Conservation Biology, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 760-768. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13366

Deconstructing compassionate conservation. / Hayward, Matthew W.; Callen, Alex; Allen, Benjamin L.; Ballard, Guy; Broekhuis, Femke; Bugir, Cassandra ; Clarke, Rohan H.; Clulow, John; Clulow, Simon; Daltry, Jennifer C.; Davies-Mostert, Harriet T.; Fleming, Peter J. S.; Griffin, Andrea S.; Howell, Lachlan G.; Kerley, Graham I. H.; Klop-Toker, Kaya; Legge, Sarah; Major, Tom; Meyer, Ninon; Montgomery, Robert A.; Moseby, Katherine; Parker, Daniel M.; Periquet, Stephanie; Read, John; Scanlon, Robert; Seeto, Rebecca; Shuttleworth, Craig; Somers, Michael J.; Tamessar, Cottrell T.; Tuft, Katherine; Upton, Rose; Valenzuela-Molina, Marcia; Wayne, Adrian; Witt, Ryan R.; Wuster, Wolfgang.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2019, p. 760-768.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Callen, Alex

AU - Allen, Benjamin L.

AU - Ballard, Guy

AU - Broekhuis, Femke

AU - Bugir, Cassandra

AU - Clarke, Rohan H.

AU - Clulow, John

AU - Clulow, Simon

AU - Daltry, Jennifer C.

AU - Davies-Mostert, Harriet T.

AU - Fleming, Peter J. S.

AU - Griffin, Andrea S.

AU - Howell, Lachlan G.

AU - Kerley, Graham I. H.

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AU - Major, Tom

AU - Meyer, Ninon

AU - Montgomery, Robert A.

AU - Moseby, Katherine

AU - Parker, Daniel M.

AU - Periquet, Stephanie

AU - Read, John

AU - Scanlon, Robert

AU - Seeto, Rebecca

AU - Shuttleworth, Craig

AU - Somers, Michael J.

AU - Tamessar, Cottrell T.

AU - Tuft, Katherine

AU - Upton, Rose

AU - Valenzuela-Molina, Marcia

AU - Wayne, Adrian

AU - Witt, Ryan R.

AU - Wuster, Wolfgang

PY - 2019

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KW - evidence-based conservation

KW - animal welfare

KW - animal rights

KW - effective conservation

KW - invasives

KW - invasive species

KW - lethal control

KW - translocation

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Hayward MW, Callen A, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, Bugir C et al. Deconstructing compassionate conservation. Conservation Biology. 2019;33(4):760-768. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13366