News Release

Framework provides guidance for ethical wildlife management

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Wildlife management decisions and practices face increasing ethical scrutiny. In research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, investigators have developed a framework for incorporating ethical considerations into decisions in a systematic way.

The framework includes 3 domains: moral theory, which focuses on consequences and outcomes; principle- and rule-based approaches that deal with what is considered right or wrong; and virtue ethical therapy, which considers factors such as character, virtue, and aesthetics.

Wildlife professionals can use the framework to anticipate the ethical consequences of different courses of action (or taking no action) and to be more transparent with the public about their decisions.

“Ethics play an important role in wildlife management, but our profession lacked an effective way to incorporate ethics, along with ecological and social science, in decisions. Our goal was to provide a way to bring the underlying ethics to the surface for consideration by stakeholders and decision makers,” said corresponding author Christian A. Smith, of the Wildlife Management Institute.

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Additional Information
The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout,

About the Journal
The Journal of Wildlife Management publishes original research contributing to fundamental wildlife science. Topics encompass biology and ecology of wildlife and their habitats with implications for conservation or management.

About Wiley
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