Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Good conservation outcomes depend on sound science that underpins management actions. Good data are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain as competing philosophies and emotive debate interfere with the processes that regulate conservation science. Iconic wildlife species are highly vulnerable to decline and are subject to intense scrutiny, particularly attracting people whose philosophies are closer to animal liberation than animal welfare. We demonstrate through a case study just how vulnerable conservation projects are to emotive pressures on the operation of Animal Ethics Committees (AECs). Our research, which was stopped, used proximity sensing radiocollars to obtain information on disease transmission important for managing a novel contagious cancer that is threatening the Tasmanian devil with extinction. Important lessons include the need for a governance structure of AECs that allows for independent review of decisions, the need to carefully screen potential committee members, and the need for AECs to both apply the code appropriately and then to stand by their decisions and the research in the case of emotive attack. We suggest that AECs and institutions should be less risk-averse about emotive attack in the media and focus on the more important goal of preventing extinction and the broader benefits of the proposed research.

Beeton N, McCallum H. 2011. Models predict that culling is not a feasible strategy to prevent extinction of Tasmanian devils from facial tumour disease. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:1315-1323.
Casper R. 2009. Guidelines for the instrumentation of wild birds and mammals. Anim. Behav. 78:1477-1483.
Dalton R. 2005. Animal-rights group sues over ‘disturbing’ work on sea lions. Nature 436:315.
Darby A. 2008. Devils up to their necks in trouble. In: The Sydney Morning Herald.
Dobson A. 2004. Population dynamics of pathogens with multiple host species. American Naturalist 164:S64-S78.
Gittleman JL, Wayne RK, Macdonald DW, Funk S, editors. 2001. Carnivore conservation. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Hamede R, Jones ME, McCallum H. 2008. Patterns of biting injuries and transmission of Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease.
Hamede R, Lachish S, Belov K, Woods G, Kreiss A, Pearse AM, Lazenby B, Jones M, McCallum H. 2011. Reduced effect of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease at the disease front. Cons. Biol. accepted 28 July 2011.
Hamede RK, Bashford J, McCallum H, Jones M. 2009. Contact networks in a wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population: Using social network analysis to reveal seasonal variability in social behaviour and its implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease. Ecol. Lett. 12:1147-1157.
Hamede RK, McCallum H, Jones M. 2008. Seasonal, demographic and density-related patterns of contact between Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii): Implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease. Austral Ecology 33:614-622.
Jones M, Jarman P, Lees C, Hesterman H, Hamede R, Mooney N, Mann D, Pukk C, Bergfeld J, McCallum H. 2007a. Conservation management of Tasmanian devils in the context of an emerging, extinction-threatening disease: Devil Facial Tumor Disease. EcoHealth 4:326-337.
Jones ME. 2000. Road upgrade, road mortality and remedial measures: Impacts on a population of eastern quolls and Tasmanian devils. Wildl. Res. 27:289-296.
Jones ME, Jarman PJ, Lees CM, Hesterman H, Hamede RK, Mooney NJ, Mann D, Pukk CE, Bergfeld J, McCallum H. 2007b. Conservation management of Tasmanian devils in the context of an emerging, extinction-threatening disease: Devil facial tumor disease. EcoHealth 4:326-337.
Knape J, Jonzén N, Sköld M, Kikkawa J, McCallum H. 2011. Individual heterogeneity and senescence in Silvereyes on Heron Island. Ecology 92:813-820.
Lachish S, Jones M, McCallum H. 2007a. The impact of disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil. J. Anim. Ecol. 76:926-936.
Lachish S, Jones ME, McCallum HI. 2007b. The impact of devil facial tumour disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil. Journal of Animal Ecology 76:926-936.
Lachish S, McCallum H, Mann D, Pukk C, Jones ME. 2010. Evaluation of selective culling of infected individuals to control Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. Cons. Biol. 24:841-851.
Lachish S, Miller KJ, Storfer A, Goldizen AW, Jones ME. 2011. Evidence that disease-induced population decline changes genetic structure and alters dispersal patterns in the Tasmanian devil. Hered. 106:172-182.
Lloyd-Smith JO, Schreiber SJ, Kopp PE, Getz WM. 2005. Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence. Nature 438:355-359.
Lunney D. 2011. Ethics and Australian mammalogy: reflections on 15 years (1991-2006) on an Animal Ethics Committee. Aust. Mammal.:published on-line 23 November 2011.
McCallum H. 2008. Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease: lessons for conservation biology. Trends Ecol. Evol. 23:631-637.
McCallum H, Jones M. 2006. To lose both would look like carelessness… Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Public Library of Science. PLOS Biology 4:1671-1674.
McCallum H, Jones M. in press. Infectious Cancers in Wildlife. In: Aguirre AA, Daszak P, Ostfeld RS, editors. Conservation Medicine: Applied cases of ecological health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
McCallum H, Jones M, Hawkins C, Hamede R, Lachish S, Sinn DL, Beeton N, Lazenby B. 2009. Transmission dynamics of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease may lead to disease-induced extinction. Ecology 90:3379-3392.
McCallum H, Tompkins DM, Jones M, Lachish S, Marvanek S, Lazenby B, Hocking G, Wiersma J, Hawkins CE. 2007. Distribution and impacts of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. EcoHealth 4:318-325.
McMahon CR, Bradshaw CJA, Hays GC. 2007. Applying the heat to research techniques for species conservation. Cons. Biol. 21:271-273.
Meinesz A. 1999. Killer Algae. The true tale of a biological invasion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
NHMRC. 2004. Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Canberra Australia: Australian Government.
Nussey DH, Coulson T, Festa-Bianchet M, Gaillard JM. 2008a. Measuring senescence in wild animal populations: towards a longitudinal approach. Funct. Ecol. 22:393-406.
Nussey DH, Coulson T, Festa-Bianchet M, Gaillard JM. 2008b. Measuring senescence in wild animal populations: towards a longitudinal approach. Functional Ecology 22:393-406.
Paddle R. 2000. The Last Tasmanian Tiger. The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Recher HF, Lunney D, Matthews A. 2009. Small mammal populations in a eucalypt forest affected by fire and drought. I. Long-term patterns in an era of climate change. Wildl. Res. 36:143-158.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Contents

Figures & Tables

References

Beeton N, McCallum H. 2011. Models predict that culling is not a feasible strategy to prevent extinction of Tasmanian devils from facial tumour disease. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:1315-1323.
Casper R. 2009. Guidelines for the instrumentation of wild birds and mammals. Anim. Behav. 78:1477-1483.
Dalton R. 2005. Animal-rights group sues over ‘disturbing’ work on sea lions. Nature 436:315.
Darby A. 2008. Devils up to their necks in trouble. In: The Sydney Morning Herald.
Dobson A. 2004. Population dynamics of pathogens with multiple host species. American Naturalist 164:S64-S78.
Gittleman JL, Wayne RK, Macdonald DW, Funk S, editors. 2001. Carnivore conservation. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Hamede R, Jones ME, McCallum H. 2008. Patterns of biting injuries and transmission of Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease.
Hamede R, Lachish S, Belov K, Woods G, Kreiss A, Pearse AM, Lazenby B, Jones M, McCallum H. 2011. Reduced effect of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease at the disease front. Cons. Biol. accepted 28 July 2011.
Hamede RK, Bashford J, McCallum H, Jones M. 2009. Contact networks in a wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population: Using social network analysis to reveal seasonal variability in social behaviour and its implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease. Ecol. Lett. 12:1147-1157.
Hamede RK, McCallum H, Jones M. 2008. Seasonal, demographic and density-related patterns of contact between Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii): Implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease. Austral Ecology 33:614-622.
Jones M, Jarman P, Lees C, Hesterman H, Hamede R, Mooney N, Mann D, Pukk C, Bergfeld J, McCallum H. 2007a. Conservation management of Tasmanian devils in the context of an emerging, extinction-threatening disease: Devil Facial Tumor Disease. EcoHealth 4:326-337.
Jones ME. 2000. Road upgrade, road mortality and remedial measures: Impacts on a population of eastern quolls and Tasmanian devils. Wildl. Res. 27:289-296.
Jones ME, Jarman PJ, Lees CM, Hesterman H, Hamede RK, Mooney NJ, Mann D, Pukk CE, Bergfeld J, McCallum H. 2007b. Conservation management of Tasmanian devils in the context of an emerging, extinction-threatening disease: Devil facial tumor disease. EcoHealth 4:326-337.
Knape J, Jonzén N, Sköld M, Kikkawa J, McCallum H. 2011. Individual heterogeneity and senescence in Silvereyes on Heron Island. Ecology 92:813-820.
Lachish S, Jones M, McCallum H. 2007a. The impact of disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil. J. Anim. Ecol. 76:926-936.
Lachish S, Jones ME, McCallum HI. 2007b. The impact of devil facial tumour disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil. Journal of Animal Ecology 76:926-936.
Lachish S, McCallum H, Mann D, Pukk C, Jones ME. 2010. Evaluation of selective culling of infected individuals to control Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. Cons. Biol. 24:841-851.
Lachish S, Miller KJ, Storfer A, Goldizen AW, Jones ME. 2011. Evidence that disease-induced population decline changes genetic structure and alters dispersal patterns in the Tasmanian devil. Hered. 106:172-182.
Lloyd-Smith JO, Schreiber SJ, Kopp PE, Getz WM. 2005. Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence. Nature 438:355-359.
Lunney D. 2011. Ethics and Australian mammalogy: reflections on 15 years (1991-2006) on an Animal Ethics Committee. Aust. Mammal.:published on-line 23 November 2011.
McCallum H. 2008. Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease: lessons for conservation biology. Trends Ecol. Evol. 23:631-637.
McCallum H, Jones M. 2006. To lose both would look like carelessness… Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Public Library of Science. PLOS Biology 4:1671-1674.
McCallum H, Jones M. in press. Infectious Cancers in Wildlife. In: Aguirre AA, Daszak P, Ostfeld RS, editors. Conservation Medicine: Applied cases of ecological health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
McCallum H, Jones M, Hawkins C, Hamede R, Lachish S, Sinn DL, Beeton N, Lazenby B. 2009. Transmission dynamics of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease may lead to disease-induced extinction. Ecology 90:3379-3392.
McCallum H, Tompkins DM, Jones M, Lachish S, Marvanek S, Lazenby B, Hocking G, Wiersma J, Hawkins CE. 2007. Distribution and impacts of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. EcoHealth 4:318-325.
McMahon CR, Bradshaw CJA, Hays GC. 2007. Applying the heat to research techniques for species conservation. Cons. Biol. 21:271-273.
Meinesz A. 1999. Killer Algae. The true tale of a biological invasion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
NHMRC. 2004. Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Canberra Australia: Australian Government.
Nussey DH, Coulson T, Festa-Bianchet M, Gaillard JM. 2008a. Measuring senescence in wild animal populations: towards a longitudinal approach. Funct. Ecol. 22:393-406.
Nussey DH, Coulson T, Festa-Bianchet M, Gaillard JM. 2008b. Measuring senescence in wild animal populations: towards a longitudinal approach. Functional Ecology 22:393-406.
Paddle R. 2000. The Last Tasmanian Tiger. The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Recher HF, Lunney D, Matthews A. 2009. Small mammal populations in a eucalypt forest affected by fire and drought. I. Long-term patterns in an era of climate change. Wildl. Res. 36:143-158.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal