The ethics of intervening in animal behaviour for conservation

Thom van Dooren, Catherine J. Price, Peter B. Banks, Oded Berger-Tal, Matthew Chrulew, Jane Johnson, Gabrielle Lajeunesse, Kate E. Lynch, Clare McArthur, Finn C.G. Parker, Myles Oakey, Benjamin J. Pitcher, Colleen Cassady St. Clair, Georgia Ward-Fear, Sam Widin, Bob B.M. Wong, Daniel T. Blumstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-830
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • behavioural change
  • conservation behaviour
  • conservation ethics
  • conservation values
  • wildlife management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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