Introduced species are animals too: why the debate over compassionate conservation is worth having

Wild horses roaming the Snowy Mountains have long been the subject of fierce debate. Some say they’re feral pests destroying Kosciuszko National Park’s fragile native ecosystem. Others argue they’re national icons and an important part of Australia’s colonial heritage. This issue was the subject of last night’s ABC Four Corners episode. But the current debate misses one crucial perspective: that of the wild horses, whose fate is being decided. This is a perfect example of why the new movement of compassionate conservation raises the question of the animals’ interests in debates about conservation. Compassionate conservationists ask whether it’s ethical to… Continue reading

June ABA Newsletter OUT NOW !

A tad late but a lot has happened!  The June newsletter is available for viewing or download: Brumby Bridges June 2018 In this issue: President’s Chat Brumbies Biodiversity and Evolution What Park environmental studies do not include The Brumby Bill 2018 Member News How colour adaptions help horses survive Editor’s Tail Continue reading

Brumbies in National Parks – a new perspective

The recent introduction of the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Bill 2018 into the NSW Parliament has attracted shock and horror from many in Australia. The objective of the Bill is “to recognise the heritage value of sustainable wild horse populations within parts of Kosciuszko National Park and to protect that heritage through a wild horse management plan.” The plan must do this while “…ensuring other environmental values of the park are also maintained.” …. More Continue reading

Aussie prof challenges “invasion biologists” on their own turf

Compassionate Conservation is an emerging multi-disciplinary field that considers the individuals of a species have value.  Rather than focusing on threatened and invasive species, Compassionate Conservation considers the Anthropocene (when humans dominate) is continuing to evolve and introduced and native species are evolving with it. Conventional conservation views any species whose presence might challenge the ordained “natives” are thereafter persecuted as “invasive,” even if the habitat has changed so much that the “invasive” species are better suited than the “natives” to surviving there. “It is possible to protect brumbies without abandoning takhis” “Protecting megafauna in their introduced range can supplement… Continue reading