Scientific and Ethical Considerations in Rare Species Protection: The Case of Beavers in Connecticut

Ethics and the Environment 26 (1):121-140 (2021)
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The protection of rare species abounds with scientific and ethical considerations. An ethical dilemma can emerge when the life of one species is valued higher than that of another, and so we discuss the basis of ranking, protection, and valuation of plants and animals. A duty to protect rare species exists in this age of great losses to plant and animal life, but the scientific and public communities are not always in agreement regarding what species deserve protection. Using a case study, we illustrate how the decision to kill beavers to protect a rare plant and rare animals found in a tidewater creek demanded an ecological ethic approach. We present the concept of a" conservation mediator" and how its use may help find a common ground between stakeholders and decision-makers in similar situations.

Author's Profile

Frank Dirrigl
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley


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