What is Compassionate Conservation?
Compassionate conservation is an interdisciplinary field which promotes the treatment of all wildlife with respect, justice, and compassion. With the guiding principles of first, do no harm, individuals matter, inclusivity, and peaceful coexistence, compassionate conservation is forging a new path to enable positive human-wildlife interactions. Whether species are common or rare, whether native or not, all wildlife have intrinsic value. Compassionate conservation creates space for open dialogue, with the goal of helping to shape conservation thinking relevant to the Anthropocene.
It is well known that daily human activities can harm wildlife. Less well known is that many wildlife can also be harmed within conservation programs, when based on captivity, culling, handling, and translocation. Compassionate conservation aims to find solutions for conservation practitioners that minimise harming wildlife. A paradigm shift in our approach to other animals is vital because of what we now know about the cognitive and emotional capacities of other animals. Compassionate conservation offers a bold, inclusive, and forward-looking framework to promote a future whereby humans, wildlife, and nature can all flourish.