Science v. Emotion in Conservation


All of us care deeply about wildlife. In fact, renowned ecologist E.O. Wilson believed that we humans have an innate need to connect with wildlife—it’s called biophilia.

  • Naturally, there’s a wide range of emotions surrounding animals: Most of us care more about the giant panda than, say, the Coffin Cave mold beetle, even though both are endangered species. Differences of opinion are OK, but when it comes to wildlife conservation and management, to be effective we must separate science from just cute & cuddly.Editor’s Note: In July we featured Subsistence Hunting and got feedback that showed it too is an issue people care strongly about—see our Letters to the Editor. Share your opinion here.