One of Wild Animal Initiative’s foundational questions is: “what can we do to improve the welfare of wild animals?” Currently, we are reviewing and summarizing relevant literature from restoration and conservation ecology, as these fields often evaluate the impacts and effectiveness of wildlife interventions. Even if conservation ecologists are not necessarily value-aligned with animal welfare advocates, impact assessments from conservation are still useful to wild animal welfare. Reviews of conservation evidence increase our understanding of the outcomes of interventions in nature and enables us to apply these interventions to welfare causes.
Historically there has been little overlap between effective altruist interested in improving wild animal welfare and conservationists. But conservation offers insight, approaches, and tools that are incredibly valuable to the work of reducing wild animal suffering. It would be highly productive for wild animal welfare advocates to actively work with conservationists on research projects, both to encourage a collaborative relationship between our fields, and to find allies for our work.
Abraham Rowe has resigned from his role as the Executive Director of Wild Animal Initiative, effective June 30th, 2019. We are initiating a search for a new Executive Director better positioned to lead this effort.
Today, Wild Animal Initiative released the research agenda that will shape our work over the next 12 to 18 months. The full research agenda can be found here. But, we also wanted to take some time to outline our approach to designing the agenda and prioritizing projects.
In our commitment to fulfill our mission for wild animals, we must also commit ourselves to honoring and upholding the inherent and tremendous value of all humans that we work alongside.
Previously, we proposed a research project investigating the feasibility of a humane insecticides program. Near-term interventions to improve the welfare of wild insects are a priority because invertebrate welfare, like wild animal welfare in general, is a neglected cause area, and the enormous number of insects together with the likelihood that their welfare is poor means that the potential impact of such interventions is high. We are going to be posting regular updates on the progress of this project.
Today, we are pleased to announce that Wild-Animal Suffering Research (WASR) and Utility Farm (UF) are merging together to form a new organization focused solely on wild animal welfare — Wild Animal Initiative.