Wild animal suffering caused by fires and ways to prevent it: a noncontroversial intervention
The best interventions we have identified to successfully prevent wild animal suffering are those that (i) are noncontroversial, (ii) can make an actual difference for animals in the present or the near future, and (iii) can foster further research on the issue and can help to establish the study of the welfare of animals living outside of direct human control. This work, at the intersection of the sciences of animal welfare and ecology, is one that can inform future policies and achieve more significant changes for wild animals.
For the last two years, Animal Ethics has been investigating examples of such interventions and supporting academic research on them. An example of these interventions is the design of protocols aimed at helping animals during and after fires. For this reason, we funded work by Jara Gutiérrez, a biologist with a PhD in animal welfare science, to do postdoc research on the effects of fires on animals in the wild. This research can inform policies and protocols of this kind, and can also promote further research by other scientists.
Gutiérrez has completed her research on this topic and prepared a report that can be downloaded here:
Gutiérrez has also submitted a paper for publication in a biology journal summarizing her results, which is also available as a preprint here:
This was possible thanks to an EA Animal Welfare Fund grant.