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Framework Provides Guidance for Ethical Wildlife Management

Professionals can make use of this framework to anticipate the ethical consequences of different management actions

by Wiley
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Wildlife management decisions and practices face increasing ethical scrutiny. In research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, investigators have developed a framework for incorporating ethical considerations into decisions in a systematic way.

The framework includes three domains: moral theory, which focuses on consequences and outcomes; principle- and rule-based approaches that deal with what is considered right or wrong; and virtue ethical therapy, which considers factors such as character, virtue, and aesthetics.

Wildlife professionals can use the framework to anticipate the ethical consequences of different courses of action (or taking no action) and to be more transparent with the public about their decisions.

“Ethics play an important role in wildlife management, but our profession lacked an effective way to incorporate ethics, along with ecological and social science, in decisions. Our goal was to provide a way to bring the underlying ethics to the surface for consideration by stakeholders and decision makers,” said corresponding author Christian A. Smith, of the Wildlife Management Institute.

- This press release was provided by Wiley