The conference is hosting workshops to stimulate practices and policies that benefit wildlife as individuals and as populations. Register your interest in workshop participation when submitting your abstract. The workshop on conservation ethics will be general and open to all, as will the workshop on predator friendly farming practices, however, the remaining four workshops are targeting those interested in working on the development of peer-reviewed publications.
Bringing ethics into conservation with argument analysis
Organiser: Michael Nelson
Learn how to apply the principles of conservation ethics in a transparent, rational and critical manner to issues in conservation and management. Ethics is an academic discipline whose purview is to understand how one ought to behave. This understanding is gained through the formal analysis of arguments associated with ethical claims. As such, the academic field of ethics is more associated with logic than is commonly appreciated. Conservation and natural resource management is ultimately about the analysis of claims like: “We ought to hunt this population, because...” or “We ought to conserve this land, in this way, because...” In other words, conservation is ethics in action.
This workshop is open to everyone interested in developing skills in conservation ethics and decision making and will involve working through topical examples, like the case of the Pelorus Island dingoes.
Predator friendly ranching skills and technologies
Organiser: Suzanne Stone
As the human population continues to expand, the loss of wildlife habitat and the introduction of livestock are posing significant threats undermining wild predator conservation efforts, while pitting agricultural and economic issues against endangered species and animal welfare. Traditionally, wildlife are killed or displaced to protect people and their property. This workshop will focus on new and age-old nonlethal and proactive methods that simultaneously protect livestock and predators. Workshop leaders will share techniques from their respective parts of the world including how to evaluate risks, conduct community outreach, and implement nonlethal deterrents and animal husbandry methods. Our goal is to build a community of compassionate conservation predator researchers who can share information and resources to better protect predators worldwide.
This workshop is likely to be run as a field program of visits to local predator friendly initiatives.
The Australian Wildcat Project
Organiser: Arian Wallach
The Australian government plans to kill 2 million cats by 2020. Killing for conservation is a mainstream approach that causes significant harms and is rarely effective. Our approach to cats requires rethinking. To find compassionate and effective solutions, we will gather progressive thinkers and stakeholders focused on scientific and ethical alternatives. Participants will take part in developing Australia’s first workshop to develop rigorous research and policy solutions that protect threatened species and the lives of Australian Wildcats.
This workshop is targeted towards those interested in collaborating on a peer-reviewed publication and a new research program on non-lethal approaches to wild cats. Contact Arian Wallach if you are interested in attending this workshop.
Transforming wildlife management policies
Organiser: Sophie Riley
The purpose of the workshop is to examine the Australian Pest Animal Strategy (Pest Animal Strategy), as a case study, to explore the linkages between conservation and compassion in the regulation of “pest” animals; and how these could be better incorporated into law and policy. The aims of the Pest Animal Strategy are that “Australia’s biodiversity, agricultural assets and social values are secure from the impacts of vertebrate pest animals.” The means of achieving this are summarised in 12 principles, that aim to balance “efficacy, humaneness, community perception, feasibility and emergency needs”. The Pest Animal Strategy also sets out five broad means of controlling “pest” animals, starting with killing or removal, but also includes changes in land use management. Yet, the Model Code of Practice for the Humane Control of a range of “pest” animals, envisage killing as a first point response. How effective and humane is this approach and how can the Pest Animal Strategy better reflect principles of compassionate conservation?
This workshop is targeted towards those interested in collaborating on a peer-reviewed publication and a position statement on compassionate law and policy. Contact Sophie Riley if you are interested in attending this workshop.
Welfare in the wild
Challenges of putting animal welfare science theory into practice
Organiser: Ngaio Beausoleil
The purpose of this workshop will be to summarise, in a publishable paper, the scientific and practical challenges associated with undertaking animal welfare assessments on free-living wild animals and discussion of potential solutions.
This workshop is limited to 20 people interested in collaborating on a peer-reviewed publication. Contact Ngaio Beausoleil if you are interested in attending.
A framework for human-wildlife health and coexistence in Asia
Organiser: Finbarr Horgan
Agricultural landscapes are the setting for human-wildlife interactions that range from outright conflict to peaceful coexistence. Farmlands are also the focal points for disease transmission between wild and domestic animals, or between wildlife and humans. A growing awareness of the ecosystem services provided by predatory animals, including birds and mammals, has promoted the development of successful land-sharing initiatives in agricultural systems throughout the World. However, whereas research attention has focused mainly on the services provided by wildlife, few researchers have focused on the health and welfare of wildlife in agricultural lands. Maintaining the health and welfare of wildlife on farms has direct benefits for the health, not only of domestic animals, but also of rural human populations.
Focusing mainly on Asia, this workshop will draw on elements from the theme session (Sharing agricultural lands with wildlife in Asia and Australia) to develop a framework that guides researchers in the development of agricultural systems to promote the health and peaceful coexistence of humans, their domestic animals and local wildlife. Contact Finbarr Horgan if you are interested in attending this workshop.