The ethics of intervening in animal behaviour for conservation

Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 38, September 2023
van Dooren T., Price C.J., Banks P.B., Berger-Tal O., Chrulew M., Johnson J. et al.

Conservation behaviour is a growing field that applies insights from the study of animal behaviour to address challenges in wildlife conservation and management. Conservation behaviour interventions often aim to manage specific behaviours of a species to solve conservation challenges. The field is often viewed as offering approaches that are less intrusive or harmful to animals than, for example, managing the impact of a problematic species by reducing its population size (frequently through lethal control). However, intervening in animal behaviour, even for conservation purposes, may still raise important ethical considerations. We discuss these issues and develop a framework and a decision support tool, to aid managers and researchers in evaluating the ethical considerations of conservation behaviour interventions against other options.