We intend to release Wild Animal Initiative’s research agenda in Q2 2019. Our priorities will likely align with Utility Farm’s and Wild-Animal Suffering Research’s previous work. Our research will focus on better understanding the highest priority wild animal welfare problems as well as assessing the cost-effectiveness near term interventions to improve wild animal welfare.
In order to develop scalable techniques to improve the welfare of wild animals, we need to develop an academic field of welfare biology. Our current strategy is to work with early career academics to promote welfare biology from within the fields of biology, ecology, and natural resource conservation.
Foundational and Prioritization Research
As we build the field, we also need to determine the highest priorities for early welfare biology research. We see our research as providing support for the emergent field of welfare biology, lowering barriers to entry and providing a strong sense of direction for early studies. We will work to develop literature libraries and tools to facilitate and reduce the cost of future welfare biology research. We will also research regulatory policy for genetic engineering technologies to help ensure that these technologies can be used to improve the welfare of wild animals in the future.
Gene Drive Public Policy
Near Term Interventions
Of course, there are wild animals that are suffering right now. We need tractable projects that reduce wild animal suffering in the near future, both to understand how interventions can be implemented effectively in the long run, and to actually improve wild animal welfare. In the next year, our focus will be on studying the cost-effectiveness of methods to reduce outdoor cat predation, and conducting the foundational research necessary to advocate for less painful insecticides.
Broadly, we pursue public outreach to raise awareness of the issues facing wild animals through two platforms — Nature Ethics and a podcast. We also study effective messaging on wild animal issues. Currently, these projects are funded through restricted funds raised in 2018, and further donations will not support these efforts until we complete evaluations of our work in Q2 2019.
Wild Animal Welfare Podcast