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Anthropogenic Threats to Wild Cetacean Welfare and a Tool to Inform Policy in This Area

Nicol, Christine and Bejder, Lars and Green, Laura and Johnson, Craig and Keeling, Linda and Noren, Dawn and Van der Hoop, Julie and Simmonds, Mark (2020). Anthropogenic Threats to Wild Cetacean Welfare and a Tool to Inform Policy in This Area. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 7 , 57 , 1-12
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Abstract

Human activities and anthropogenic environmental changes are having a profound effect on biodiversity and the sustainability and health of many populations and species of wild mammals. There has been less attention devoted to the impact of human activities on the welfare of individual wild mammals, although ethical reasoning suggests that the welfare of an individual is important regardless of species abundance or population health. There is growing interest in developing methodologies and frameworks that could be used to obtain an overview of anthropogenic threats to animal welfare. This paper shows the steps taken to develop a functional welfare assessment tool for wild cetaceans (WATWC) via an iterative process involving input from a wide range of experts and stakeholders. Animal welfare is a multidimensional concept, and the WATWC presented made use of the Five Domains model of animal welfare to ensure that all areas of potential welfare impact were considered. A pilot version of the tool was tested and then refined to improve functionality. We demonstrated that the refined version of the WATWC was useful to assess real-world impacts of human activity on Southern Resident killer whales. There was close within-scenario agreement between assessors as well as between-scenario differentiation of overall welfare impact. The current article discusses the challenges raised by assessing welfare in scenarios where objective data on cetacean behavioral and physiological responses are sparse and proposes that the WATWC approach has value in identifying important information gaps and in contributing to policy decisions relating to human impacts on whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Authors/Creators:Nicol, Christine and Bejder, Lars and Green, Laura and Johnson, Craig and Keeling, Linda and Noren, Dawn and Van der Hoop, Julie and Simmonds, Mark
Title:Anthropogenic Threats to Wild Cetacean Welfare and a Tool to Inform Policy in This Area
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:7
Article number:57
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN:2297-1769
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Fish and Wildlife Management
Keywords:cetacean, animal welfare, anthropogenic threat, expert elicitation, Five Domains model
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105298
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105298
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fvets.2020.00057
Web of Science (WoS)000525119200001
ID Code:16923
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 May 2020 12:47
Metadata Last Modified:18 May 2020 12:47

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