Wildlife Management - An Exploration of the Moral Dimensions of Wildlife Interventions
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The Netherlands is a small country but it is nonetheless home to many animals and different species populations. This wildlife is intensively managed. This management expresses itself in what I call ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ interventions. The former are interventions directly aimed at the promotion of the survival, health or life quality of an animal or species, and the latter interventions aim at eliminating the threat an individual or species forms to humans, to other species or to the ecosystem. Both positive and negative interventions inescapably have a moral component and the same goes for intervening or refraining from intervening. In this thesis, I explore the moral dimensions of wildlife interventions. I investigate which values and interests play a role in it, and how these interests and values should be balanced. First, I define the notions of ‘wildlife’ and ‘intervention’. Next, I discuss culling measures, with reference to the fallow deer of the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen (AWD) and the Schiphol geese. I use the theories of Singer, Regan and Taylor to analyze this case. Lastly, I discuss ethical questions regarding positive interventions, mostly referring to the rehabilitation of seal in the Ecomare shelter of Texel. In this discussion I refer to Stafleu et al., Donaldson & Kymlicka and Nussbaum.