Ethical Approaches to Elephant Conservation

Joyce H. Poole, W. Keith Lindsay, Phyllis C. Lee and Cynthia J. Moss

in The Amboseli Elephants

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780226542232
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542263 | DOI:
Ethical Approaches to Elephant Conservation

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This chapter considers the treatment of wild elephants. In doing so, it examines several topics that have significant consequences, approaching each from an elephant's point of view: How will the consequences affect elephants individually or collectively, physically and psychologically? And what might be the long-term consequences? The chapter considers the exploitation of elephants for commercial gain, including the ivory trade, sport hunting, and the capture of wild elephants; the human and elephant needs for land; and the methods for addressing locally high densities of elephants, such as translocation, birth control, and culling. In all these areas, there may be ethical judgments regarding the trade-off of interests between elephants and people.

Keywords: elephant conservation; ethics; wild elephants; ivory trade; sport hunting; birth control

Chapter.  6981 words. 

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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