Published January 16, 2013 09:49
Getting conservation strategies right has never been more important. The planet is facing its sixth biodiversity extinction event and Australia has a myriad of environmental problems with which to deal. Getting things right is not just about doing the best for the environment, it is also about treating the wild animals that live within it humanely and with compassion.
This public lecture introduced the audience to the growing international movement called "Compassionate Conservation" that seeks to build the welfare of individual animals into conservation practice, for the betterment of both.
Emeritus Professor Marc Bekoff and Dr Daniel Ramp discussed the compassionate conservation approach and its principles. They applied these principles to examine the use of recreational hunting as a conservation tool to control introduced species in New South Wales. One of the big questions this lecture sought to address is "Does the reported conservation gain outweigh the animal welfare cost?"
Marc Bekoff is Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He has published more than 500 scientific and popular essays and twenty three books. In his latest book Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation he collaborated with Dr Daniel Ramp who provided the Australasian perspective on Compassionate Conservation. In 2009, he was presented with the Saint Francis of Assisi Award by the Auckland (New Zealand) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). In 2005, Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners as part of the Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program. In 2000, he was awarded the Exemplar Award for the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behaviour.
Dr Daniel Ramp is a compassionate conservation biologist with an interest in animal behaviour, road ecology, biogeography and wildlife-human interactions. As a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment at UTS, he has published widely on science that informs conservation initiatives aimed at understanding, mitigating, and adapting to environmental change. With a long interest in marsupials from the family Macropodidae, including a PhD from the University of Melbourne on eastern grey kangaroos, Daniel is a co-founder of THINKK, the think tank for kangaroos as well as a Director of Voiceless, the Animal Protection Institute. Recently, Daniel along with other THINKK researchers contributed a chapter on Compassionate Conservation: a paradigm shift for wildlife management in Australasia for the new book Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation.