Do conservation biologists make ethically questionable trade-offs when trying to save a species? This is the argument that Marc Bekoff makes in a provocative New Scientist essay. Bekoff, who is a biologist and an animal rights advocate, asks:
Can people who value individual lives work with those who are willing to sacrifice lives for the good of a species or an ecosystem? What role should animal sentience play in such decisions?
Bekoff has long been questioning the practices and ethics of conservation biology. I first talked to him 12 years ago, when I wrote this piece about a controversial program that reintroduced Canada lynx to Colorado. (Earlier this year I wrote a short post about the lynx reintroduction program and Bekoff.) I wish I had more time to talk about his current essay, but I wanted to put it out there and get some of your reaction.