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Wildlife and Exotics

 

How to Decide Whether to Move Species Threatened by Climate Change

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This article proposes a framework to perform rigorous, quantitative cost/benefit analysis of proposals to relocate plant and animal species threatened by climate change. The framework is consistent with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s guidelines, and can be used to evaluate a single proposed relocation, to compare species as well as strategies or locations, and to focus future research by pinpointing areas where data is insufficient.



Do Formal Inspections Ensure that British Zoos Meet and Improve on Minimum Animal Welfare Standards?

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This study explored whether inspections lead to animal welfare improvements in British zoos. The authors examined two consecutive inspection reports for 136 zoos in Britain to determine the level of compliance with minimum animal welfare standards. The results showed no evidence of an overall improvement in this area. The findings also pointed to a lack of consistency between inspectors and a high proportion of zoos failing to meet minimum animal welfare standards. Based on the study, the authors suggest that the current system of inspection and licensing is subpar and in need of improvement.

The Incidence of Plastic Ingestion by Fishes: From the Prey’s Perspective

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This study investigates what percentage of plastic items are apparently bitten by fish or sharks as well as the size of fish who bite plastic and whether bitten items have particular characteristics. Hard plastic debris was collected from randomly selected plots on a Hawai'ian beach. Bitten items were recorded as a percentage of all items by count (15.8%) and by weight (17.3%). Items that were blue, yellow, or bottle-shaped were most frequently bitten. There was a wide range of bite-mark sizes, indicating engagement by a variety of species and/or those at varied stages of growth.

What Happened to Climate Change? CITES and the Reconfiguration of Polar Bear Conservation Discourse

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Polar bears have been a symbol for climate change, but a proposal to upgrade their listing under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has resulted in a diversion of public attention from climate change toward the hunting of polar bears. This article focuses on the reconfiguration of polar bear conservation discourse that took place leading up to the 2013 CITES decision. The authors suggest that the focus on the commercial hunting and global trade in polar bear parts has resulted in an overshadowing of sustainable hunting and climate change-induced habitat loss. They conclude that more nuanced media coverage of polar bear conservation is necessary to facilitate appropriate multilateral conservation policies.

Does Colour Matter? The Influence of Animal Warning Coloration on Human Emotions and Willingness to Protect Them

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The role of animal coloration in people’s willingness to protect animals was explored in this study. Children and youth in Slovakia were shown altered and unaltered images of aposematic (those with warning coloration) and cryptic animals. The results showed that participants were significantly more willing to protect aposematic animals over inconspicuous, cryptic animals. These findings, the authors suggest, indicate that the use of aposematic animals in conservation programs may increase their popularity and public support.


Is Hunting Large Carnivores Different from Hunting Ungulates? Some Judgments Made by Norwegian Hunters

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In Norway, previously threatened populations of large carnivore are recovering. In this study explores hunters’ attitudes towards the eventual use of hunting to manage these growing populations. 672 Norwegian hunters were surveyed as part of the study about their motivations, priorities, and values about carnivore hunting compared to their attitudes about ungulate hunting.



The Effects of Three Types of Environmental Enrichment on the Behaviour of Captive Javan Gibbons (Hylobates moloch)

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This study observed the behavior of captive Javan gibbons in the UK in response to three types of environmental enrichment devices (a novel object, an olfactory and a food-based enrichment). Interest, habituation, stress, and changes in activity level were assessed to determine whether the devices could be useful to improve the quality of life of this endangered primate species when in captivity. The authors conclude that all three devices offer a form of enrichment for zoo-housed gibbons.


Functional Aspects of Emotions in Fish

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This article addresses the emotionality of fish, drawing upon literature from psychology, neurology and marine biology. The author discusses the definition, function, and measurement of emotion in animals and concludes that emotions in fish can be inferred, both by the similarity of their responses to those of other emotional animals, and by the functional and evolutionary advantages that emotions confer.



Project ChimpCARE: Evaluating the Care, Management, and Welfare of Privately Owned Chimpanzees in the United States

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This conference presentation focused on factors that have precipitated the current situation for chimpanzees in the U.S. and Project ChimpCARE’s collaborative approach in response. The talk highlighted Project ChimpCARE’s work in quantifying the number of privately owned chimpanzees in the U.S., including those in roadside attractions and pet-breeding facilities as well as individuals kept as companion animals or used as performers. It also describes the organization’s assessment of chimpanzees’ current care and management and their efforts to work toward sustainable solutions.

The Relevance of Age and Gender for Public Attitudes to Brown Bears (Ursus arctos), Black Bears (Ursus americanus)...

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Age and gender-related attitudes towards bears and cougars in Canada were explored in this study. The results showed that most participants, particularly females, feared bears and cougars and had concerns for child and adult safety. Participants were in favor of trapping and removing these animals as opposed to shooting them or tolerating their presence. The majority of participants also believed that bears and cougars serve useful functions. There were a number of age and gender-related differences in respondents’ attitudes on the topic.


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