Announcing Wild Animal Initiative
Persis Eskander and Abraham Rowe
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.
Over the last year, we (Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm) have become increasingly aware that our work overlaps significantly, and that our values are well aligned. Because of this, a merger seemed like the natural next step for our organizations. We drafted a merger plan, sought feedback from our teams and external members of the EAA community and our respective Boards. All were broadly supportive of our decision. This new organization will be better suited to coordinate research and academic outreach, and will incorporate lessons that have been learned over the last two years at both WASR and UF.
Wild Animal Initiative will begin publishing research and writing at wildanimalinitiative.org. However, the Utility Farm and Wild-Animal Suffering Research sites will remain live and serve as an archive of the work previously completed by both organizations. If you’re interested in receiving updates on our progress, sign up for our mailing list.
Why Wild Animal Initiative?
Problem. Wild animals suffer. We don’t have solutions to this suffering, and few people take wild animal welfare to be a critical cause area.
Solution. To improve wild animal welfare, we need to build foundational knowledge of the problem, facilitate the search for solutions in academia, and advocate for promising strategies to improve the wellbeing of nonhuman animals in nature. This is the objective of Wild Animal Initiative.
Our priorities are to conduct research to understand the problem, to develop solutions that improve wild animal welfare, and to build capacity through academic outreach.
Understanding the problem
We will conduct multidisciplinary research in ecology, biology, and economics to better understand the cause area, evaluate research findings, identify interventions and examine the relevant considerations in developing viable interventions.
We will release a Research Agenda in early 2019 that lists our specific priorities.
We will continue work to research near-term interventions to improve wild animal welfare, such as advocacy for the adoption of humane insecticides, and publish research on the cost-effectiveness of these interventions.
Building an academic community
Both WASR and UF spent a significant amount of time on academic outreach in 2018. Our goal was to encourage: (a) the establishment of welfare biology as an academic field, and (b) foundational research projects in biology and ecology. In 2019, we will refocus on early career academics, and launch a new outreach program that funds these young academics to conduct the outreach themselves.
If you’re interested in getting involved, we’d love to hear from you! Right now, we are hiring for the following positions:
We also are hoping to continue growing our cohort of volunteer writers. Sign up today!
Support our work
Wild Animal Initiative is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and donations in the US are tax-deductible. Please support our work today to help us understand how to best help wild animals!