Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Wildlife Welfare/Conservation Interface: ACES seminar by Pete Goddard

ACES seminar given by Pete Goddard, head of ecology at the Macaulay Institute, 4th March 2011

  • Login to see the comments

The Wildlife Welfare/Conservation Interface: ACES seminar by Pete Goddard

  1. 1. The wildlife welfare / conservationinterface Pete Goddard
  2. 2. Key points1. The concept of wildlife welfare and the ethical stance a) A brief overview of animal welfare in general b) What welfare could mean to a wild animal?2. How can we assess the welfare of a wild animal?3. Can welfare values inform conservation decisions?4. Do individual animals always really benefit from conservation?As this outline suggests, I will present more questions than answers!
  3. 3. The ethical perspective on animal welfare –how ought we to treat animals? – four different ways to view our duties to animals Utilitarian – what matters are the interests of those who are being affected by what we do; the strongest interests prevail Animal rights centred – recognition that animals have an inherent independent value Species integrity – considering the value of the species to be important (perhaps the crux of the conservationist’s approach) Agent-centred – considers how the way we treat animals impacts on usYour personal approach to ethical issues will colour how you view the remainder of the seminar Overview of animal welfare
  4. 4. In the context of the current presentation:What What does welfare mean wild wild animal? could welfare mean to a to a animal? Photo © Jerry Laker
  5. 5. What does the term “welfare” mean?Definitions of welfare relate to:I. Animal’s awareness of it’s situation (subjective / feelings based)II. Animal’s state in relation to it’s surroundings and its ability to copeIII. Nature-based – the ability to perform a full range of behaviours Welfare is a state, not a quantity - no categorical units An animal can be positioned on a welfare scale in relation to certain criteria An element of human subjectivity in balancing welfare attributes
  6. 6. Feelings-based:whose feelings? A new research approach: QBA – Qualitative Behavioural Assessment An approach based on the descriptive terms developed by panels of observers and analysed statistically using approaches such as principal component analysis. Shows a high degree of correlation regardless of the background or knowledge of the observers. Important to ensure that it is not context-specific (ie will a group of animals in a well-bedded pen attract a different “description” to that of a similar group of animals in a barren pen, even if their behaviour is generally similar?)
  7. 7. What does the term “welfare” mean?Definitions of welfare:I. Animal’s awareness of it’s situation (subjective)II. Animal’s state in relation to it’s surroundings and its ability to copeIII. Nature-based – the ability to perform a full range of behaviours If the second approach is easier …. is this third to apply … approach more appropriate to wild animals?
  8. 8. What does the term “welfare” mean?Definitions of welfare:I. Animal’s awareness of it’s situation (subjective)II. Animal’s state in relation to it’s surroundings and its ability to cope We should considerIII. Nature-based – the ability physical and a full range of behaviours both the to perform mental state of the individual
  9. 9. Attempt at the description of the term “welfare” “The state of well-being brought about by meeting the physical, environmental, nutritional, behavioural and social needs of the animals or groups of animals under the care, supervision or influence of people” Appleby, 1996 “Welfare can vary between very poor and very good…” Broom & Johnson, 1993 Nb. Take care to avoid the North American use of the word “welfare” as something provided for those in need.
  10. 10. Why should we be concerned about wild animalwelfare anyway? Is this too obvious a question? Most people inherently sympathetic towards wild animals  For example they like to watch and sometimes interact with them Animals considered sentient beings (able to experience) and so should be treated with some degree of respect Recognition that we can have impacts on wild speciesSocietal differences Possibly related to views about food animals / religious views Different countries afford different “rights” to animals Some of these embodied in legislation
  11. 11. Are there any areas of the world outside of the impact of Manwhere we don’t impact on wild animals in some way?  As a result of global changes active conservation measures may be undertaken to preserve species  Only 10% of the world’s land is more than 48 hours’ surface travel from the nearest city – leaving forests increasingly open to human interference (New Scientist 18.04.09)
  12. 12. Background to thinking about the concept ofwildlife welfare Consideration of wild animal welfare has received relatively little attention – thus small evidence base Populations or individuals? Considerable body of knowledge in relation to farmed livestock How should the welfare of wild or range animals be assessed? Are there times we have special responsibility towards wild species? I will use some examples from wild deer, vicuna & sea birds
  13. 13. Individuals versus groups or populations:another issue to be aware of when thinkingabout wildlife
  14. 14. Animal welfare is about the individual but… do we balance serious issues for a small number against lesserissues for a large number?..importantly for conservation, how do we balance the interests of onespecies against those of another (e.g. predator / prey relationships)?
  15. 15. A starting point:Our level of ethical responsibilityAs animals become more “managed” or impacted does our ethical responsibility increase? Wild ManagedFor example, with increasing intervention in relation to wilddeer (fencing, culling, feeding) comes increased responsibility
  16. 16. FAWC’s “Five freedoms” Freedom from hunger  Can we apply these to wild animals? and thirst  Is it appropriate to do so? Freedom from discomfort Freedom from pain, injury or disease Freedom to express normal behaviour Freedom from fear and Photo Scott Newey distress
  17. 17. Five freedoms for wild animals  Freedom from hunger and  Possibly compromised in natural thirst state +/- human involvement  Freedom from discomfort  Is this likely / possible for wild animals?  Freedom from pain, injury or  Is this likely for wild animals? disease Natural processes cause these  Freedom to express normal  This is where wild animals “win”. behaviour  Freedom from fear and  Any difference from domestic distress livestock?Issue of “normal” or “natural” behaviour to consider; for wildlife read “natural”?
  18. 18. Five freedoms for wild or managed animalsWild Managed
  19. 19. For wild animals – should we intervene? Should we intervene to: Freedom from hunger and thirst  Provide food and water at certain times? Freedom from discomfort  Treat or kill animals in severe discomfort or when injured or diseased? Freedom from pain, injury or disease Freedom to express normal  Provide enhanced or protected behaviour environments or influence predators? Freedom from fear and distress
  20. 20. How can we assess the welfare of a wild animal Welfare can be assessed from observations of: •Physical state (e.g. the presence of emaciation, physical injuries or disease) Second •Behavioural signs (e.g. position in group; main area activity pattern; abnormal stance or gait) So how shall we frame our assessment?
  21. 21. A possible new welfare construct for wild animals Ranging behaviour Foraging behaviour / food availability Breeding choice Lifespan Solitude vs disturbance Health status Does this alternative approach, which focuses on the “nature-based” definition of welfare, help us? Is this a better currency?
  22. 22. A possible new welfare construct for wild animalsWild Managed Health
  23. 23. Non-invasive methods to assess wild animal welfareChanges in behaviourAbnormal behaviour patternsChanges in physiologyHealth / mortality In all cases - which measures / timeframe Photo Angela Sibbald
  24. 24. Using this alternative framework to consider wild deer Nutrition / foraging behaviour Habitat exclusion / ranging behaviour Disturbance Disease / injury incidence Breeding choice All things we could evaluate
  25. 25. Using an understanding of population dynamics Comparing pre- and post-action disturbance Long-term reproductive success Distribution patterns
  26. 26. Impact of human disturbance on red deer 0.7 Less_disturbed Disturbed 0.6 0.5 0.4 % 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 Feeding Vigilant Behaviour type Jayakody, S., Sibbald, A.M., Gordon, I.J. & Lambin, X. 2008: Red deer Cervus elaphus vigilance behaviour differs with habitat and type of human disturbance. - Wildl. Biol. 14: 81-91 Photo Sevvandi Jayakody
  27. 27. Deer fencing - exclosureA recognition by deer managers that they should aim toprevent welfare problems from arising e.g. winter starvationor exposure, in deer fenced out of winter feeding grounds.
  28. 28. Placing an animal on a welfare scale Enhanced Underpinning welfare legislation provisionVery Perceived level of welfare Verypoor goodPresence of negative Presence of positivewelfare indicators welfare indicatorsThe importance of the presence of positive indicators – do wehave these for wild animals? © Pete Goddard
  29. 29. A life worth living: Enhanced welfare Underpinning schemes legislation Very poor Very good Perceived level of welfare A life not worth living A life worth living A good life Avoidance of negative welfare Presence of positive welfare indicators indicators Who should be the guardian of animals in the wild? © Pete Goddard
  30. 30. Can welfare values inform decisions aboutsustainable use and conservation? Third main area
  31. 31. Interactions between conservation andwelfare objectives in sustainable usePopulation Sustainable use Habitatconservation conservation Socioeconomic benefits Modified from Bonacic et al., 2009
  32. 32. Interactions between conservation andwelfare objectives in sustainable use Animal welfare Population Sustainable use Habitat conservation conservation Socioeconomic benefits Modified from Bonacic et al., 2009
  33. 33. What types of situation give rise to welfare concerns? Harvesting – such as hunting (consumptive use) Human “invasion” into wildlife territory Animals in reserves Translocation (assisted colonisation) Captivity of range animals – reindeer example Ecotourism and disturbance Welfare and nuisance / pest control Protection of vulnerable habitats (animal impacts) Indirect effects (e.g. climate change) ….Many others you can all think of
  34. 34. As an example: The ethical cost:benefit review oftranslocation and reintroduction Need to capture all of the “costs” Many of the welfare costs of working with wild animals also map on to the “cost” considerations for treating wildlife casualties:  Capture and captivity  Impacts on dependant young  Close handling / treatment Welfare risks after release through  Release into unfamiliar territory  Competition for resources  Post-release survival  Introduction of infection  Predator: prey imbalance Benefits may be easier to ascribe to conspecifics / other species so this justification may be more acceptable to some people
  35. 35. Populations on the welfare balance: an example of potentialconflict for an individual Do population dynamics change as we manage animals? Increasing numbers High population Higher welfare density Welfare Lower welfare
  36. 36. A “Best Practice” example - Welfare: definition& assessmentImpact on the deer Sever ity Dur ation Number affectedPr oblem Outcome High M inutes Stags M oder ate Days Hinds Low Life Calves © DCS
  37. 37. Welfare: definition & assessmentImpact on the deer Sever ity Dur ation Number affectedPr oblem Outcome High M inutes Stags M oder ate Days Hinds Low Life CalvesRemoval of W inter M oder ate M onths Highfeeding mor tality X hindsgr ound Y calves © DCS
  38. 38. Welfare: definition & assessmentImpact on the deer Sever ity Dur ation Number affectedPr oblem Outcome High M inutes Stags M oder ate Days Hinds Low Life CalvesRemoval of W inter M oder ate M onths Highfeeding mor tality X hindsgr ound Y calves © DCS
  39. 39. An aside: Dealing with casualtiesCasualties may arise as a direct result ofconservation measuresYou may come across casualty anddiseased animals during the course ofyour workWhat will you do?What responsibilities do you have?Should you intervene?Generally accepted that anthropogenicinjuries should be treated(See BSAVA manual of wildlife casualties)
  40. 40. Vertebrate pest control has welfareimplications to evaluate  Trapping – (and evaluation of humaneness and effectiveness of new traps)  Poisons / pesticides  May be more difficult to develop test standards but objective end points are valuable (e.g. looking at a range of behavioural and physiological responses)  Scope for reducing uptake by non-target species  Fertility control  Deterrents
  41. 41. A specific ethical perspective for“compassionate conservation” (not my descriptor!) The (UK) public view of wildlife conservation An alternative view of wildlife as pests The likelihood of benefit to the wildlife species themselves Impact on the ecosystem of removing / reintroducing individuals Potential disease aspects following reintroduction Can we develop a cost:benefit approach to inform our actions?
  42. 42. Cost:benefit of welfare for farm animals:Can this approach be used for wild animals? Economic approach to resolve conflicts B Level of animal welfare A C D FARM - Level of production / output / value After McInerney, 1991
  43. 43. Cost:benefit of welfare for farm animals:Can this approach be used for wild animals? Ethical approach to resolve conflicts B Level of animal welfare A C D WILD – Anthropogenic impact After McInerney, 1991
  44. 44. Do individual wild animals benefit from conservationactions? A possible “yes” and a possible “no”Welfare aspects of shearing the Andean vicuña: sustainable use within anethical framework Fourth main area Photos © Jerry Laker
  45. 45. Opportunities for community engagement inconservation and management Involving communities in wildlife management and welfare in the Andean altiplano through sustainable use of vicuña. Photos © Jerry Laker
  46. 46. Management systems developed basedon animal welfareInvestigate the effects of capture, shearing and release on:• disturbance• reproduction• longevity• post-management losses• subsequent feeding behaviourAudit of welfare and behaviour:• guidelines on best management practice• improved handling and shearing techniques
  47. 47. Taking a balanced or holistic view using a rangeof information  Combining field study data with animals held in temporary captivity and treated in the same way  Using data from a range of variables  Post-capture behaviour  Reproductive success  Social groupings  ? Life expectancy Photo © Jerry Laker  Faecal steroid concentrations Photo © Jerry Laker
  48. 48. Back to your ethical perspective: When should youintervene to resolve a wild animal problem? Pathological stage & population problems Conservation problem Reproductive problems Pre-pathological stage Welfare problem Behavioural and physiological responses to stress Normal homeostasis Modified from Bonacic personal comm., 2007
  49. 49. Do individual animals always benefit from conservation actions? A wildlife catastrophe - RSPB estimated that 10,000 seabirds along over 100 miles of coastline in SW England were affected by oil pollution caused by the deliberate grounding of MSC Napoli on 20 January, 2007. Guillemots were the most affected (18 species significantly affected overall) Your challenge: Should seabirds have been treated or euthanased? Is this a conservation or a welfare issue? Where does the balance lie?
  50. 50. Another wildlife catastrophe – with bothwelfare and conservation impacts Is this a conservation / aesthetic issue or one to do with animal welfare? At the 2010 ISAE conference we asked workshop attendees if they believed animal conservation raises any important welfare challenges. VAS : never to always 81 / 110
  51. 51. The welfare vs conservation balanceOne viewpoint: Species of highdo you agree? conservation status Can compromise individual welfare Common species, not listed in any Acceptable SAP etc. compromise to welfare Can’t compromise individual welfare
  52. 52. The welfare vs conservation balanceAnother viewpoint: Species notdo you agree? held in high public regard Species of high public affection – iconic; Acceptable aesthetic value; … compromise to welfare
  53. 53. An international perspective – are therecommon standards? Welfare aspects of shearing the Andean vicuña: how do the ultimate consumers value conservation / sustainable use / animal welfare of the animal in its environment? At the same conference we asked workshop attendees if they considered animal welfare concerns were used to guide field conservation practice. VAS : never to always 42 / 110 Photo © Jerry Laker Photo © Jerry Laker
  54. 54. Conservation:welfare approach for the future An ethical review of all conservation interventions: look at the system overall - working through trade-offs Assessment of “lifetime” welfare account - for individual or population subject to conservation measures Identification of specific welfare weaknesses in conservation actions The conservation manager to be more focused on welfare
  55. 55. Legislators or independent groups to lead ? Is there a need for legislation to prevent or reduce wildlife welfare problems during conservation? Legislation aimed at / restricted to:  game parks / reserves, transport, hunting, other proactive management Consumer / visitor pressure through choice  positive or negative There is great scope for positive interaction between those concerned with both wildlife welfare and conservation
  56. 56. The VicuñaThe Theory and Practice of Community-Based Wildlife Management Photos © Jerry Laker
  57. 57. Questions to take away: As wild animals become more “managed” does our responsibility for their welfare increase? What measures are meaningful? How do we reconcile the conservation of populations with the welfare of individual wild animals? How do we trade off different welfare compromises for wildlife? Would this red deer hind prefer to be in the wild or on our deer farm?