Calls for ‘compassionate conservation’ (the protection of individual wild animals, regardless of whether they are native or an introduced invasive species) may be rebuffed by ecologists, citing any number of examples of the environmental harm caused by invasive species and the environmental benefits that come from their control or eradication.
However, several social issues are entwined in the debate, e.g.:
- Self rights versus self sacrifice,
- World view – inevitable homogeneity versus distinct cultures and ecologies, and
- Perspectives on humans versus other animals.
Ecologists may need to specifically address the sociology of controlling invasive, or over-abundant, animals as well as the scientific basis of environmental management and conservation, if they are to convince their audience.
For more information please see ‘Sociology and Ecology‘ which adds more detail to the story and references numerous current articles that are relevant to it. Examples include: