"Why cause pain and suffering if there is another way? But I am interested in the hard cases where there is no other way, where conservationists really do have to choose between killing off thousands of animals and letting a native species go extinct. Then what do they do?"
PLM author Emma Maris recently traveled to Australia to learn about a method of conservation that requires the killing of select species. Reporting for The Atlantic, Emma explains:
"Around the world, people routinely kill free-ranging animals to protect human interests. And there’s a surprising amount of killing in the name of conservation. To save rare plants and giant tortoises from extinction in the 1990s and early 2000s, conservationists shot roughly 140,000 goats on the Galapagos Islands, mostly from helicopters. To save rare birds on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic, conservationists dropped 300 metric tons of poison bait on the island to exterminate rats between 2010 and 2015. In the United States, barred owls moving west of their own accord are shot because they compete for nesting sites for the endangered spotted owl. Sea lions that eat endangered salmon on the West Coast are trapped and given lethal injections. And in New Zealand, government officials have pledged to kill all of the rats, stoats, and brushtail possums in the entire country by 2050."
We're so impressed by the important research Emma is doing. Check out the rest of her article here!