Wildlife Viewing and Ecotourism Ethical, Scientific, and Value-Based Considerations by Anton D. Pitts B.Sc., McGill University, 1997 M.Sc., The University of British Columbia, 2001 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) May 2010 c Anton D. Pitts 2010 Abstract Management of wildlife viewing tourism, possibly as a legacy of management of hunting and trapping activities, tends to see its ultimate goal largely in terms of the sustainable human use of wildlife resources. However, where the potential impacts of human activities are non-lethal, the focus on population dynamics may not adequately address relevant societal and ethical concerns. Additional concerns include protecting tourist safety, maintaining a pristine wilderness experience, habituation (either positive, allowing for easier viewing, or negative, reducing animals’ “wildness”), stressing animals, and showing disrespect or a lack of courtesy. Formal theories of animal and environmental ethics, while frequently conflicting and under-determinate in terms of specific prescriptions, provide a coherent basis and language for the discussion of each of these different concerns. The values extant in society, as reflected in lay writing about wildlife tourism, show that there is societal support for a variety of goals that wildlife tourism management should address. These include population-level and ii Abstract individual-level consequences as well as non-consequentialist goals such as fostering respect for wildlife or avoiding a “trophy photograph” mentality. Scientists attempting to assess the impacts of wildlife tourism use a variety of measures related to both individual and population responses. Especially when using individual-animal measures (behaviour, stress responses), scientists are rarely explicit about why these measures are important, relying instead on an implicit and uncertain link to population-level impacts. These measures, however, may be linked more directly to equally valid (from a management perspective) individual-level concerns. Given the variety of goals that are ethically justified and societally supported, it is inappropriate to conceptualise management as a mere scientific problem. Instead, I use a decision-analysis framework to synthesize relevant contributions from the scientific, ethical, and social-values literatures, identify their respective contributions to the decision-making process, and conclude that while good indicators exist for most of the objectives identified, thresholds at which changes in the indicators call for management action remain to be established. iii Table of Contents Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv List of Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x 1 Introduction 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1 Contribution to knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 2 Wildlife tourism management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.1 Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.2 Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 2.3 Existing wildlife tourism management examples . . . . . . . . 35 2.3.1 K’tzim-a-deen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 2.3.2 McNeil River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 2.3.3 Brooks River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 2.3.4 Johnstone Strait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 iv Table of Contents 2.3.5 Gulf Islands/San Juan Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 2.4 Need to make implicit values explicit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 3 Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management . . . . . . . 70 3.1 Biocentric consequentialist theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 3.1.1 Singer’s hedonistic utilitarianism . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 3.1.2 Preference utilitarianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 3.1.3 Applications of utilitarian ethics 3.1.4 A utilitarian view of wildlife viewing . . . . . . . . . . 84 . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 3.2 Biocentric deontological theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 3.2.1 Regan’s rights ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 3.2.2 Taylor’s respect for nature 3.2.3 Applications of deontological ethics . . . . . . . . . . . 93 3.2.4 A deontological view of wildlife viewing 3.3 Ecocentric consequentialist theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 . . . . . . . . 94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 3.3.1 The Land ethic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 3.3.2 J. Baird Callicott 3.3.3 The mixed community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 3.3.4 Applications of communitarian ethics 3.3.5 A communitarian view of wildlife viewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 . . . . . . . . . 102 . . . . . . . 102 3.4 Ecocentric deontological theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 3.4.1 Wilderness values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 3.4.2 Applications of ecocentric deontology v . . . . . . . . . 106 Table of Contents 3.4.3 An ecocentric deontological view of wildlife viewing . . 108 3.5 Anthropocentric theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 3.5.1 Virtue ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 3.5.2 Enlightened self-interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 3.6 Pluralist and pragmatic theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 3.6.1 Applications of pluralistic or pragmatic ethics . . . . . 116 3.6.2 A pluralistic view of wildlife viewing . . . . . . . . . . 118 3.7 Need to interact with moral intuitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 4 Value expressions in public discourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 4.1 Environmental values in wildlife management . . . . . . . . . 126 4.2 Analyzing value expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 4.3 Conceptions of wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 4.3.1 Wildlife as resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 4.3.2 Wildlife as ‘furry people’ 4.3.3 Wildlife as wild, free, and not-human 4.3.4 Wildlife as totem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 4.3.5 Wildlife as hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 . . . . . . . . . 154 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 4.4 Conceptions of ‘right action’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 4.4.1 Sustainable use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 4.4.2 Animal welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 4.4.3 Respect for animals 4.4.4 Human character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 vi Table of Contents 4.4.5 Commercial viability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 4.5 Overlap between lay and professional ethics . . . . . . . . . . 209 5 On the consilience of wildlife science and human values . . 213 5.1 Analyzing the scientific literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215 5.2 Implicit and explicit goals of existing scientific work . . . . . 219 5.2.1 Benefits of wildlife tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 5.2.2 A composite model for human-wildlife interactions 5.2.3 Value “hooks” to composite model . . . . . . . . . . . 224 5.2.4 Animal perceives humans 5.2.5 Biological significance 5.2.6 Animal perceives humans as a threat . . . . . . . . . . 230 5.2.7 Animal finds human presence aversive 5.2.8 Stress response activated 5.2.9 Animal flees . . 222 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 . . . . . . . . . 235 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 5.2.10 Health effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 5.3 Science’s contributions to management . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 6 Decision analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250 6.1 Adaptive management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 6.2 Stakeholder involvement and conflict resolution . . . . . . . . 255 6.3 Structured decision making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 6.4 A decision analysis of wildlife viewing 6.4.1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Goals and objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 vii Table of Contents 6.4.2 Impact assessment and thresholds 6.4.3 Tradeoffs 6.4.4 Management alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . 266 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 6.5 Management options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 Appendices Appendix A: Values analysis data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Appendix B: Scientific literature analysis data . . . . . . . . . . 344 viii List of Tables 4.1 Definitions of keywords used in analysis of secondary sources . 140 4.2 Number of annotations made by keyword and sub-keyword . . 141 5.1 Number of annotations made by keyword and sub-keyword. Percentage breakdowns for the most common keywords are presented in Figure 5.1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 6.1 Summary of possible objectives, indicators, and thresholds for management of wildlife viewing tourism. . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 ix List of Figures 4.1 Distribution of sub-keywords for the Justification, Measures, and Valuation keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 5.1 Distribution of sub-keywords for the Justification and Measures keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 x Chapter 1 Introduction Various forms of “non-consumptive” tourism are often suggested as economic alternatives to un-sustainable resource extraction. Non-consumptive tourism includes activities such as hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, nature photography, and wildlife viewing, while excluding the more “traditional” concerns of wildlife management agencies, hunting and fishing. The latter are obviously and explicitly consumptive, and a main focus of management is to determine the maximum sustainable harvest rate that the wildlife resource can support. In contrast, the former are, at least at first glance, not consumptive: animals are not removed directly from the population. However, it has long been recognised that “non-consumptive” recreation does in fact degrade various landscape and wilderness values: non-consumptive users create and erode trails, disturb wildlife behavioural and reproductive patterns, leave garbage behind, and, as numbers grow, cause crowding, reducing the feelings of solitude and wilderness which inspired the activities in the first place. Thus the notion that “non-consumptive” land use is entirely benign and needs no regulation or management can readily be rejected. The term may still have some use in separating these activities from the more directly 1 Chapter 1. Introduction consumptive resource-harvesting activities, where the management goals and methods will be different. On the other hand, there are many forms of “nonconsumtive land use”, and management goals and methods may also differ among these various forms. In this thesis, I will bound my attention to the narrower topic of wildlife disturbance due to non-consumptive wildlife-viewing tourist activities. In these activities, the interaction with animals is the driving force behind the activity; it is true, however, that many of the same considerations will apply where wildlife is incidentally disturbed by hiking, mountain biking, ATV riding, skiing, or snowmobiling. In these cases, the interaction with wildlife may be unintentional, and the tourists may even be unaware that it is occurring. However, I will focus mostly on contexts where tourists pay a tour operator to take them out to view wildlife, or individual tourists travel independently to an area where wildlife are readily viewed for the express purpose of observing and/or photographing them. In addition, by “animals” or “wildlife” in this thesis, I refer primarily to birds and mammals; these are the groups most frequently the subjects of organised wildlife tourism activities1 , and as such, are the ones generally discussed in my data sources. I do not intend this to be a firm boundary, however, and many of the ethical considerations and management objectives discussed may apply to many taxa outside these 1 I recognise, however, that there are exceptions—sharks and sea turtles are the most conspicuous of these 2 Chapter 1. Introduction boundaries, but determining exactly how much force each consideration has for every possible taxonomic grouping is beyond the scope of this thesis. On the Canadian west coast, key examples of such tourism are whale watching and grizzly bear viewing. On the coast, these activities are often boat-based. For whales, boats of various sizes from rigid-inflatable Zodiactype open boats to large, enclosed cruisers conduct whale watching tours ranging from a few hours to several days. For grizzly bears, tours are either land-based at salmon streams, where bears congregate during the fall salmon runs to fish at locations where rapids slow and concentrate the migrating fish, or boat-based at locations where bears feed on grasses and sedges in open intertidal marshes during the spring. Tours are also conducted to observe black bear (and especially the Kermode colour phase—also known as the “Spirit bear”—on Princess Royal Island.) Various other marine mammals and birds are often incorporated into both whale- and bear-based tours. The notion that these wildlife viewing activities may not be entirely benign is not new. As early as 1977, Wilkes questioned the notion that activities other than hunting and fishing can legitimately be called “non-consumptive” (Wilkes, 1977). There is certainly current public and societal concern over the impacts that wildlife viewing might have. Andrew Scott2 suggested that “Orcas are at risk from too many human fans and the water itself”, but after mentioning “inconclusive speculation in the media about the harmful effects of excessive whale-watching” devoted most of the column to discussing toxi2 “Watching Killer Whales Die”, Georgia Straight travel section. Date unknown 3 Chapter 1. Introduction cological results implicating pollution as a culprit in killer whale population declines. Calvin Sandborn (1999) asked “Are we loving whales to death?” and suggested that while whale-watching tourists carry cameras rather than guns, they may contribute to the decline of killer whales just as buffalohunting tourists drove the buffalo to the brink of extinction. Sandborn also pointed out that while the southern resident population numbered (in 1999) 84 whales, there were at that time 85 commercial tour boats operating in the area. There are current attempts to regulate tourist behaviours in order to protect the wildlife in question. The “Be Whale Wise” whale viewing guidelines3 , co-produced by a collaboration of government agencies, aquaria, tour operator groups, and environmental NGOs on both sides of the U.S. border, establish a “no-go” zone 100m around whales and out to 400m in front of and behind the whales’ travel direction. Between 400 and 100m to the sides of the whales’ direction of travel is a “go-slow” zone, in which speeds should be reduced to 7 knots and sudden changes of course should be avoided. While voluntary, these guidelines are backed up by the Marine Mammal Regulations (enacted under the Fisheries Act of 1985 ), which state: 7. No person shall disturb a marine mammal except when fishing for marine mammals under the authority of these Regulations. (MMR, 1996, s. 7) 3 http://www.bewhalewise.org/bewhalewise.pdf 4 Chapter 1. Introduction A more general guide to wildlife viewing opportunities in British Columbia (Wareham et al., 1991) includes a code of “ethics for the field”, which includes confining movement to existing trails to allow animals to adapt, avoiding nesting sites and dens, using binoculars, and keeping a respectful distance to avoid stressing animals. Similarly, a brochure published by B.C. Parks4 recommends viewing “from a distance that respects the needs of wildlife,” being patient, and avoiding “noises or actions that might stress wildlife.” The British Columbia Wildlife Act (1996) has a provision similar to the one in the Marine Mammal Regulations: Definitions and interpretation 1 (1) In this Act: [. . . ] ”harass” includes worry, exhaust, fatigue, annoy, plague, pester, tease or torment, but does not include the lawful hunting, trapping or capturing of wildlife; (BCW, 1996, s. 1) While there is no explicit link between the legal regulations (which are rather short on detail) and the published voluntary or recommended guidelines (which have no strict legal force), it has been found in court of law that failing to abide by accepted guidelines may be treated as evidence of violating the relevant legal statutes (Westad, 2003a,b, 2004). There is also a growing body of scientific literature addressing the impacts that wildlife viewing may have on the wildlife being viewed. MacArthur et al. 4 http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/conserve/wildviewing_part2.pdf 5 Chapter 1. Introduction (1982) measured heart rate and withdrawal behaviours in mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis), finding that heart rate responses frequently occurred before, or without, any overt escape behaviour, and that human approaches from an “expected” direction (i.e. from the road) elicited less dramatic responses than approaches from an “unexpected” direction. Gill et al. (1996) proposed a method to quantify the effects of human disturbance in birds, based on the idea that animals will abandon a foraging area when the perceived risks of predation outweigh the benefits of continuing to forage. Assuming that animals react to human presence as a form of predation, this should allow us to measure the extent to which animals perceive humans as a threat. Gill et al. (2001) later suggested that behavioural measures such as departure from a feeding area may not accurately reflect the impacts of human disturbance, as the decision by an animal to leave the current foraging area depends not only on the quality of that area and the perceived risk due to human presence, but also on the quality of other available habitats and the costs of travelling to them. Unless these quantities are controlled for, the decision by an animal to continue to forage or to depart cannot by itself be interpreted as indicating the severity of the human disturbance. Creel et al. (2002) used immunoassays of fecal glucocorticoid levels as a non-invasive measure of the stress imposed on wolves (Canis lupus) and elk (Cervus elaphus) by snowmobile activity, finding that these stress levels are correlated with the amount of snowmobile use, but concluding that there is no evidence that snowmobiling at current levels was impacting the population 6 Chapter 1. Introduction dynamics of either species. Frid (2003) attempted to predict energetic and fitness costs to Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli ) due to disturbance by fixedwing and helicopter overflights, by measuring the distance from the aircraft at which sheep fled (if they did), the total distance travelled by the fleeing sheep, and the time until which the sheep resumed their pre-disturbance behaviour (either feeding or resting). Frid (2003) concluded that the cost due to lost foraging may exceed the direct cost of locomotion in this context, and that his data could be a first step towards establishing set-back distances, elevation limits, or speed limits for aircraft operating in sheep habitat. In summary that there is public concern about disturbance to wildlife, there is scientific work attempting to quantify this disturbance, and there are management regulations or guidelines aimed at minimising disturbance. It is not clear, however, whether these are acting in concert. Scientists and managers often put forward the argument that management decisions ought to be based on sound scientific information. It remains true, however, that management is inherently a goal- and value-driven activity: if all possible outcomes were equally desirable, there would be no particular point to managing in order to encourage one over the other. In many cases, disagreements over policy directions are not fundamentally questions about what is (these disagreements could, in principle, be resolved through scientific or other empirical work), but rather about what ought to be—and this is a normative, rather than an empirical question. 7 Chapter 1. Introduction My goal in this thesis is to develop principles that could be used to resolve these normative questions as an aid to formulating rational and comprehensive policies for the management of wildlife-viewing tourism. In particular, I aim first to determine the extent to which theories of animal and environmental ethics might contribute to this goal. Second, I aim to find the extent to which the concepts and values identified in these ethical theories are supported by societal perspectives, as expressed in the popular media’s reporting on wildlife issues and wildlife tourism. Third, I will identify the extent to which existing scientific research addresses the values and management objectives derived from the two previous bodies of literature. And lastly, I use a decision-analysis framework to synthesise the contributions of these relevant but disparate domains of inquiry and identify the ways in which they can serve as inputs to rational and comprehensive management decision-making. Raz (1999) argued that there are many kinds of reasons, but fundamentally they can be grouped into two categories: reasons for belief and reasons for action. Empirical reasoning, which includes science, produces reasons for belief, whereas practical reasoning, which includes ethics, produces reasons for action. In this thesis, I will focus primarily on reasons for action, and especially on reasons for wildlife viewing policy and management. Reasons for action, Raz argued, consist of two parts: (a) operative premises, which must state values (including desired goals) or norms, and (b) auxiliary premises, which state specific information about how an action affects these values or norms. A complete reason for action must include an operative 8 Chapter 1. Introduction premise, and may in addition contain one or more auxiliary premises. In ordinary conversation, complete reasons for action are rarely given. In conversation, one generally assumes ones interlocutor shares the basic operative premise. Pointing out specific features of a given action is sufficient justification because one assumes the interlocutor is familiar with the context or it is obvious how the underlying operative premise is to be applied. It is important to note that operative premises are always normative or value statements. Wood (2000) pointed out that practical reasoning can be either prudential (self-interested) or ethical (taking others’ interests into account.) The focus of this thesis is mostly on those ethical operative premises that take into account the interests of non-humans. Auxiliary premises can include both empirical information as well as judgements of value or importance. The scientific method, strictly speaking, deals only with empirical information. I find in this thesis that ethical theories tend to concern themselves with what Raz (1999) termed operative premises. This leaves a “gap” consisting of those auxiliary premises that are not purely empirical. In order for wildlife managers to have a complete reason for action, then, they would need to consider input from the ethical and scientific literatures, as well as making various judgements based on either their own intuitions or an interaction with public or societal expressions of concern. Fraser (1985) suggested that societal concerns, ethical theories, scientific research, and management efforts often fail to address each other, and that wildlife management could learn some lessons from the management of agri9 Chapter 1. Introduction cultural systems. In agriculture, the goals of particular systems may vary (e.g. breeding stock, meat animals, show animals, etc.), but this goal will generally be explicitly defined, and both data collection techniques and management techniques will be fitted together into a management system aimed at acheiving the system’s goal. Fraser (1985) suggested that in many cases, wildlife management is heavy on techniques, but light on decision rules and on explicit framing of over-arching goals. This leads to confusing management action, and to supposedly “applied” scientific research that does not explicitly address management needs. Decker et al. (1991) picked up on this theme by warning that debates over animal rights in wildlife management are hampered by blurring of values and scientific statements: concern over animal rights are dismissed by wildlife professionals as “emotion”, while direct manipulation of individual animals, populations, and habitats is considered “science-based or biologically correct.” Decker et al. (1991) pointed out that both the goal of protecting individual animals’ rights (or well-being) and the goal of perpetuating wildlife populations are fundamentally ethical positions, and that scientific judgements cannot in themselves advocate for any particular management action: such decisions depend fundamentally on the specific value positions regarding how we ought to relate to wildlife (in other words, on the goals of management in that particular system.) Cronon (1995) collected a number of essays to make the general point that there is no scientifically “correct” end-goal for management efforts. En10 Chapter 1. Introduction viromental management and restoration tend to claim to restore or manage for what is ‘natural’ for the ecosystem in question, but this claim is not sufficiently detailed and explicit. Both the definition of what is ‘natural,’ and the normative claim that what is natural is good or desirable as a management goal need to be made more explicitly. Similarly, Rolston (1990) detailed several apparently contradictory management policies in Yellowstone National Park: We permitted an epidemic of pinkeye to destroy half the bighorn herd, intending to strengthen the species, thinking it good to let nature take its course. We rescued a grizzly sow and her three cubs stranded after the spring ice breakup on Frank Island in Yellowstone Lake, hoping to save the species, not letting nature take its course. A park official forbade four compassionate snowmobilers from either rescuing or mercy-killing a bison that had fallen throrugh the ice into a river...” (Rolston, 1990, p. 242) Rolston (1990) cited a previous book (Chase, 1987), which advocated “sound scientific management,” and deplored that Yellowstone management is slave to “a metaphysical ideal” of non-interference, which he fears is leading park managers into a paralysis of non-action, thus endangering the park itself. Rolston (1990), however, argued that “scientific management” is a means, not a goal, and that many of the questions regarding management in Yellowstone are not empirical questions amenable to scientific resolution, but questions about what the appropriate goals are and how they should be valued—questions requiring normative, rather than empirical analysis: 11 Chapter 1. Introduction What eludes Chase is that urging scientific management is an instrumental, not an intrinsic, value judgment. To instruct managers to be scientific is to set only strategic not ultimate goals for them. Science can be used to determine what the spontaneous course of nature was, is, or will be, in order to determine how far human alterations have and will upset it and how far we can restore the original course. But do we value that nature course at Yellowstone? That is a philosophical question.(Rolston, 1990, p. 243.) In summary, these examples argue that management is a decision problem, not a data problem, and while scientific information can inform management on how to acheive specific goals, deciding which goals to pursue is a normative or value question. Turning back to the management of wildlife tourism, guidelines published for use by tourists themselves may need to use coarse, easy-to-observe rules of thumb. Assessing whether these guidelines are effective, sufficient, or excessive (and whether some alternative guidelines would be better) is a subject for more detailed inquiry—but what should we measure in order to assess the suitability of wildlife viewing guidelines? In order to conduct useful scientific inquiry into the appropriateness of viewing guidelines, policies or regulations, it will first be necessary to define “harassment” or “disturbance” in ways that are both amenable to empirical observations and reflective of the desired outcome of the guidelines. Stafleu et al. (1996) warn that this process of making definitions operational (i.e., deciding what to measure as indicators) can lead to a loss of the multidimensionality of the original, broader definition of the societal concern under study. Defining “harassment” 12 Chapter 1. Introduction to include “worry, exhaust, fatigue, annoy, plague, pester, tease or torment” might work in a legalistic framework, but it offers scant guidance to a scientist attempting to determine whether a 100m no-go zone and a 400m go-slow zone are better or worse than some other numbers. On the other hand, measuring a 10-second change in the duration of whales’ dives might work well as a scientific measurement, but it is unclear whether it is fully reflective of the underlying social concern implied by the legal definition. The justifications offered by the use of terms such as “survival” or “reproductive success” are useful for framing scientific questions, but it is unclear whether “stress” is a concern solely to the extent that it leads to the former, or whether a measurable level of stress in wildlife is itself evidence of inadequate guidelines even if it leads to no demonstrable effect (or, even, leads to a demonstrable lack of effect) on survival and reproduction. There may also be other parameters that should be considered relevant to management guidelines: displacement from specific areas, temporal shifts in use of specific areas, changes in which individuals or classes from a population preferentially use specific areas, etc. Many such parameters could potentially be measured, and changes over time tracked, but without a clear notion of what goals or outcomes the guidelines are attempting to acheive or prevent, it would be difficult to decide how to respond to any given finding from such a measurement and tracking program. Thus, it is not clear from the current management guidelines, or from the current scientific work supporting those guidelines, exactly what goals such 13 Chapter 1. Introduction management is pursuing. Is it to ensure the population’s continued viability? To ensure the tourism operations’ continued viability? To protect individual wild animals against stress and harassment? To protect a minimum standard of “wilderness experience” for the tourists? As argued above, these are societal and ethical questions, rather than scientific ones. To examine these questions, this thesis takes an inter-disciplinary approach to combining and comparing findings from an analysis and application of theories of both animal ethics and environmental ethics (chapter 3) with an analysis of societal expressions of value in relation to wildlife viewing (chapter 4) and an analysis of the implicit value judgments underlying existing scientific attempts to quantify impacts of wildlife viewing operations and behaviours (chapter 5). These analyses are then tied together by considering the management question as a decision problem, and applying a structured decision-making framework (chapter 6.) I start with a review of historical trends or changes in environmental and wildlife values (section 2.1). I then provide some background on the nature of wildlife viewing and its management at a few selected locales on the west coast of Canada and the United States (section 2.3); these case studies will be discussed in chapter 6 where the findings of the intervening chapters are used to run the management decision problem through a formalised decisionmaking framework. While a full assessment of the extent to which variations between the management strategies used in these locales might lead to different outcomes, along each of the dimensions identified as relevant, is beyond 14 Chapter 1. Introduction the scope of this thesis, I present in Table 6.1 some proposed indicators that could be used in such an assessment. In chapter 3, I attempt to derive specific goals or prescriptions for wildlife viewing tourism management starting from various theoretical moral frameworks in the literature. In particular, there are two approaches to doing applied ethics. Monistic approaches hold that there is a single consistent, logically coherent theory of ethics, and that once we have identified that theory, practical questions in specific contexts are a simple matter of applying the theory. Pluralistic approaches argue that the simplicity of monistic theories is illusory, and that several incommensurable types of values can and do exist, and need to be balanced or traded off, and while various ethical theories can draw attention to specific values and frame questions in their terms, there is no single, fully coherent theory from which specific decisions can be deduced logically. In terms of monistic ethics, I use Singer (1990), Singer (1993) and Singer and Mason (2006) as examples of a utilitarian animal ethic, Regan (1983) and Regan (1992) as an example of a rights-based animal ethic and Taylor (1986) as an individualistic and deontological nature ethic, Leopold (1949), Callicott (1999a, 1988) and Midgley (1983) as examples of holistic or communitarian environmental ethics, and Rolston (1990, 1994a) as an explicitly non-consequentialist ethic of respect for “wildness”, rather than for the individual animals or even the populations concerned. More recent attempts to apply each theory to animal issues tend to focus on the contexts of agricul15 Chapter 1. Introduction ture or hunting and fishing. I find that each of these theories could be used to generate some goals and prescriptions for wildlife tourism management, but that, as per the pluralistic argument, the simplicity of monistic ethics is illusory. If we accept the utilitarian premise, then we should simply add up the benefits and costs of various options in terms of some common currency (“utility”), and pick the most beneficial option. However, in order to conduct such a calculus, we need to decide which changes to an animal’s behaviour, physiology, reproduction, etc., or to the habitat it lives in, are relevant to its utility (and, beyond that, exactly how many units of utility changes of various magnitude are worth.) Such questions are clearly value-laden, but merely accepting the premise of utility calculations as a basis for ethical decision-making is insufficient to generate answers—and if making a decision requires value-laden decisions based on considerations entirely separate from the simple monistic theoretical framework, then the simplicity of that framework is lost. If we are drawn instead to extending the notion of rights to non-human animals (Regan, 1983), we quickly run into similar problems of application: it is immediately obvious that some rights we hold dear in human-human relationships (e.g. the right to vote, to assemble, to practice religion freely, to express one’s opinions) do not apply to non-human animals. This raises the question of which rights do apply, and simply appealing to the theoretical apparatus of rights does not provide clear answers in the grey areas. 16 Chapter 1. Introduction Alternately, we could avoid the language of moral rights, as does Taylor (1986), and derive specific rules of conduct based on respecting the individual life processes of non-human individuals. Taylor includes both animals and plants, and derives general rules of conduct. Rights and duties often conflict, however, and while one can come up with rules of thumb for resolving such conflicts that look reasonably good on paper, in practice they require an estimation of how “serious” the various rights violations are. Especially where the rights or duties violated differ drastically in kind, and especially where the rights-holders belong to different species, these again are value-laden questions to which answers cannot readily be deduced from basic foundational principles. If we turn instead to a more community-oriented ethical framework which argues that ethical rights and obligations are generated by community comembership, we run into similar questions. While Callicott (1999a) claims to have provided simple rules of thumb to resolve conflicts between claims based on how “important” the obligation in question is and how “venerable” the community whose co-membership generates it, in practice, judging the importance of obligations and the venerability of communities remain difficult or intractable questions. Noting and accepting these difficulties with the monistic notion that we can “do” ethics by coming up with the “correct” underlying theory of right behaviour, and then simply applying it to the objectively-determined specifics of a given decision problem, pluralistic and pragmatic approaches 17 Chapter 1. Introduction to ethics reject the foundational focus and call instead for a more explicit discussion of the sorts of value-laden questions that we have seen lie between an abstract ethical theory and a specific application. Without falling into a pure populism where whatever course of action is most popular must be right—ethical theories are still considered useful in critically framing and assessing societally held values—these suggestions also recognise that values, rights, and obligations may exist in entirely incommensurable dimensions, that utility and rights (for example) may both be valid ways of seeing the problem, and that the lay public (perhaps with some help) is capable of making ethical, rather than merely self-serving, judgements and decisions. In the following chapter (chapter 4), I take up the pluralistic challenge of engaging with societally held values by examining what expressions of value and obligation towards wildlife are expressed in the context of nonconsumptive wildlife tourism. I do this by locating 1800 records from a database of articles published in Canadian daily and periodical media sources between 2002 and 2007, analysing the full text of 570 relevant articles, and extracting 373 expressions of moral value or opinions about ethically correct or incorrect behaviour from 209 of the articles (see Appendix 7). I find that these societal expressions of value and judgements about ethical correctness include a high level of detail and refer to all of the different contstructs seen in formal ethical theories. However, there are relatively few explicit or formal links between the expressions of moral value and the prescriptions for behaviour—in fact, there are cases both where disparate 18 Chapter 1. Introduction moral valuations lead to identical judgments about what is appropriate behaviour, and where similar moral starting points are used to justify opposite prescriptions regarding how we ought to behave. Further, unsurprisingly, the non-ethicist writers in the popular media tend not to use the formal or abstract language used by ethicists and philosophers, nor are they much concerned with logical coherence and consistency with a single moral theory, upon which at least some of the ethical theorists place great emphasis. The take-home message of this analysis, however, is that a broad variety of concerns do exist, and could be used as justification for regulating or restricting tourism. In addition, there is considerable mutual support between the lay models and the ethical theories. In chapter 5, I turn to the question of whether the types of empirical work scientists propose as management inputs reflect the wide variety of concerns justified by formal ethical theories and extant in the popular consciousness. In this analysis, I located 870 potentially relevant scientific articles, analysed the full text of 119, extracting 181 value-relevant quotes from 75 articles (see Appendix 7). Unsurprisingly, the scientific literature emphasized consequentialist types of thought far more than non-consequentialist ones; science excels at measuring consequences. This does mean, however, that if management decisions are “based on science”, they will only reflect those concerns that can be articulated in terms of consequences. Those societally expressed concerns that reflect non-consequentialist ethical principles will, in this case, end up being 19 Chapter 1. Introduction ignored. In addition, there are measurable consequences identified both in the ethics literature and by the lay public that could be measured, but are currently not addressed by the scientific literature. Perhaps more surprisingly, given the formalised way in which scientific papers are written (with an introduction defining the problem to be addressed, a methods section describing how the chosen methods answer the problem identified, etc.), the links between the actual indicators measured in this literature and specific management goals or desired outcomes tended to be implicit or presumed, rather than explicitly demonstrated. Some papers even went as far as to declare in the introduction that only population-level consequences were of concern, explain that short-term physiological measures do not necessarily reflect these population-level consequences, and then measure physiological changes in wildlife without further explanation. Likewise, several authors recognised the difficulty of interpreting short-term behavioural or physiological measures in terms of “what is important”, but having given a name (biological significance) to “what is important”, the issue tends to not be further explored (or, it is assumed for reasons unexamined that energy budgets are what is meant by “biological significance.”) I conclude the thesis in chapter 6 by using a framework for structured decision-making to map out the findings of the previous chapters in the context of deciding how to manage wildlife tourism. I find that some of the management examples described in section 2.3 do explicitly describe goals and link specific measurements and management strategies to these goals, 20 1.1. Contribution to knowledge while others are less clear. In addition, I find that much of the scientific work could be used to directly justify management to protect individual-animal level values, but the scientists themselves tend to write in terms of indirect causal chains leading to an eventual population-level impact. Lastly, I find that, while reasonable indicators for many of the goals and values relevant to management do exist, indicators for some (especially those related to ‘respecting wildlife’) are not well established, and that thresholds at which monitoring of indicators should lead to changes in management action need to be determined. 1.1 Contribution to knowledge First, I present an analysis of the ethical issues involved in non-lethal human interactions with free-living wildlife. Previous applications of ethical theories (whether monistic or pluralistic) tend to focus on agriculture and research where captive animals are killed or on hunting, trapping and fishing where wild, free-living animals are killed. The ‘big issues’ focussed on in these cases (death and captivity) are absent from the context of wildlife viewing tourism—yet questions remain about whether this type of animal use is acceptable, or, more subtly, how best to conduct or manage such animal use to ensure it is as acceptable as possible. Second, I take up the challenge offered by Light (2002); Light and DeShalit (2003); Light and Katz (1996); Minteer (1998); Minteer and Manning 21 1.1. Contribution to knowledge (1999) and Minteer et al. (2004) to combine philosophical analysis of ethical theories with an analysis of actual lived moral experience. In doing this, I also test and reject the claim by Callicott (1990) that humans need and strive for consistency and coherency in their moral thinking. I find that the values extant in society, while informally expressed, are not merely arbritrary preferences or sentimentality, but can be supported and defended by appeal to the more abstract work of theoretical ethicists. Likewise, I find that abstract ethical theories are not merely esoteric academic exercises, but that the features identified in each do resonate with and find expression in concerns expressed by the lay public. Third, I analyse the methods used in the scientific literature to assess the impacts of wildlife tourism. I find that these assessments reflect only a subset of the values, goals, and concerns that management ought to address in order to reflect the societally held values identified in this thesis. Lastly, I use the framework of structured decision-making to shed light on the integration of existing knowledge and on the existence of knowledge gaps. Seeing wildlife-viewing tourism management as a decision problem rather than a scientific issue helps clarify where science can provide insights, and where other inputs (from philosophy, ethics, and social-values analysis) are needed. 22 Chapter 2 Wildlife tourism management: some trends and possibilities As a broad generalisation, we can describe traditional wildlife management as concerned primarily with increasing or maintaining the population size of game species, and motivated primarily by an ethic or value system that sees wildlife as a resource (as food, pelts, recreational opportunities/trophies) existing for human use. There are two major historical shifts that have challenged this view. First, there is a concern (possibly partly driven by increasing understanding of ecological processes and interdependencies) with broadening the objects of protection to include non-game species and habitats as well as ecological processes and other features. Second, there are concerns regarding individual animals’ well-being or welfare, often expressed (at least by wildlife managers) as constraints on what methods are considered humane means to acheive the ends of managing populations or ecosystems. In the context of non-consumptive wildlife-viewing tourism, the link between the human activities being managed and the population focus of traditional wildlife management is less obvious than in the case of consumptive 23 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife hunting and fishing uses of wildlife. Where hunting of game species is being managed, wildlife is generally seen as a resource, and the goal of wildlife management is to ensure that hunting mortality is low enough that the total mortality is balanced by reproduction. In a wildlife-viewing tourism context, wildlife is not seen merely as a resource to be managed for sustainable use, and the well-being and welfare of individual animals may be a legitimate ultimate goal for wildlife management, rather than a means to, or constraint on, management for population goals. In this chapter, I will provide some context for the analyses that follow, first by reviewing previous work exploring changing attitudes towards wildlife and the implications this has for the “mission” of wildlife management, and second by introducing a few specific wildlife viewing areas, describing how the viewing activities are actually conducted and what management opportunities and challenges are presented by the nature of the viewing operations. 2.1 Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife Loo (2006) examined the history of Canadian wildlife management policies. The first major shift she identified occurred roughly at the beginning of the twentieth century, when, following the dramatic declines in buffalo and other conspicuous game species, the government started to take more direct and centralised control over the management of wildlife. This shift from 24 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife fragmentary, un-coordinated, and local management to a more governmentdriven, centralised approach, however, was not coupled to any great change in the aims of such management: “Until the mid-twentieth century, the law’s bestiary contained references to ‘game’ and ‘vermin’ only.” (Loo, 2006, p. 14.) Early wildlife management tools, whether local or centralised, consisted of bounties paid to encourage the killing of “vermin”, and regulations limiting the numbers of “game” that could be killed. Both options were intended primarily to ensure a continued harvest of the game species. In a second societal shift, market hunting gave way to what (in contrast to current usage of the term) Loo called “non-consumptive” sport-hunting5 , but this shift also remained grounded in the ethic of conserving resources for the future. As the frontier became tamed, however, the use of wildlife resources shifted from food to recreation. While much may be made about this distinction as it relates to human relations towards wildlife and nature, the overall view of wildlife as a resource to be used (i.e., killed) by humans remained. A third major shift occurred around the middle of the twentieth century, when earlier writings in the emerging field of ecology started becoming incorporated into wildlife management actions. This shifted the focus of management away from managing mortality solely through bag limits and 5 We will see later that by the 1970s, the term “non-consumptive” excluded any hunting or fishing and referred exclusively to watching wildlife and viewing landscapes, while current hunting regulations require that the edible portions of virtually all game be retrieved, so even trophy hunting is “consumptive” in the sense that the animal is eaten—even if that is not the prime motivation of the hunter. 25 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife other hunting restrctions, and towards managing production through the protection, restoration or improvement of wildlife habitat. However, while this shift introduced variety into the toolkit used by wildlife managers, the fundamental mission of wildlife management remained focused on sustaining populations of game species. In the last shift identified by Loo (2006), the habitat or ecosystem itself became the goal of management efforts. As examples of this shift, Loo points to Tommy Walker’s attempts to preserve the Spatzizi wilderness from development, and Andy Russell’s work on both rehabilitating the reputation of grizzly bears and encouraging people to think in more ecological terms and to become concerned with habitat protection for its own sake. To this, she added Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf, which heralded and encouraged a change from seeing wolves as vicious predators and competitors for game, to seeing them as social individuals and valued parts of a healthy ecosystem. In general, the changes Loo (2006) identified in Canadian wildlife managment echo changes identified more broadly in public attitudes. Kellert (1996) identified nine basic attitudes towards wildlife (utilitarian, naturalistic, ecologistic, aesthetic, symbolic, humanistic, moralistic, dominionistic, and negativistic.) The utilitarian attitude remained the most prevalent in American society, but its prevalence declined steadily from 1900 to 1970, while the ecologistic attitude remained less frequently expressed, but had increased in prevalence, especially since about 1960 (Kellert, 1996). 26 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife A major recent survey of wildlife values in the western U.S. (Teel et al., 2005) identified three groupings of people with strong values towards wildlife: a utilitarian group saw wildlife as resources to be used by humans, a mutualistic group saw wildlife as extended kin, and a pluralist group strongly held both sets of values or views, in a strongly context-dependent manner. This context-dependence was also noted by Kellert (1996), as many respondents in that work held strongly humanistic attitudes towards or moralistic concern over treatment of, for example, pets, domestic and zoo animals, and some larger and more conspicuous wildlife, while simultaneously holding apathetic or even strongly negative attitudes towards pests, predators, and other species outside that charmed circle. Aggregating these various dimensions of attitudes towards animals (and including dimensions of attitudes towards broader nature), Dunlap and Van Liere (1978) and Dunlap et al. (2000) defined a “New Environmental Paradigm.” This NEP recognised the interconnectedness of ecological systems and the importance of maintaining those systems’ functioning, both for their own sakes and because of the often unexamined and unknown reliance of humans on their continued stability and the services provided. The NEP was contrasted to an older, dominionistic and controlling attitude (see, e.g. White 1967). Others, however, have cautioned against such aggregation, pointing out that strong concerns about appropriate ways to treat animals have always existed alongside the more utilitarian and dominionistic attitudes, and that 27 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife claims of a complete change from one to the other are overstated (Preece, 1999, 2005). These shifts in public attitudes have also been discussed in the wildlife management and conservation biology literatures, as they affect the purposes or missions of those scientific fields. Soulé (1985) defined conservation biology as a new mission- or crisis-oriented discipline that derives its mission from this changing societal valuation of nature. He drew a distinction between fisheries biology, forestry, and wildlife management, which are focussed on our natural resources, and conservation biology, which is focussed on the developing broader concern and valuation of biodiversity and ecological complexity. More details are added by Callicott et al. (1999), Willers (2000), Hunter (2000) and Callicott et al. (2000), who debate a further distinction between a compositional conception of conservation, where humans are apart from nature, and a functionalist conception where humans are a part of nature. The challenge for conservation biology in the former conception is to prevent humans from destroying and defiling nature, whereas the challenge in the latter is to develop sustainable interactions between the various components of nature, of which humans are but one. Despite the distinction Soulé (1985) drew above, the wildlife management profession also recognises and attempts to respond to these changing societal valuations. Decker et al. (1996), Gill (1996) and Riley et al. (2002) identifed a fundamental broadening of the goals of the wildlife management profession in response to increasing concern over wildlife on the part of non-“client” 28 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife stakeholders. Decker et al. (1996) suggested that prior to about 1970, the main focus of fish and wildlife management was to provide “product” (i.e., a harvestable surplus of fish, game species and furbearers) to “clients” (i.e., to anglers, hunters and trappers.) This relationship worked well until the 1970s and 1980s, when groups other than the traditonal “clientele” of the wildlife management professions started expressing an emerging interest in environmental issues broader than the sustainable use of game species. As a response to this shift, Decker et al. (1996) called on the wildlife management profession to adopt a new paradigm and language, where “stakeholders” replace “clients.” Decker et al. (1996) also pointed out that there are varieties of stakes in wildlife management issues beyond the consumptive use of wildlife as resources. Riley et al. (2002) emphasised the role of stakeholder involvement in decision-making by pointing out that science can discover and quantify effects generated by human interactions with wildlife, but that it is stakeholders who “ultimately define and judge the relative importance of effects, thereby determining which effects will be the target of impact management” (Riley et al., 2002, p. 588.). Likewise, Gill (1996) identified an over-valuation of the “biological dimensions” (by which he refers to using scientific information to provide sustainable hunting opportunities) and an under-valuation of the “human dimensions” (meaning an openness to study and incorporate emerging non-utilitarian stakes in wildlife decisions) by the wildlife management profession. 29 2.1. Changing Western attitudes towards wildlife These challenges have been taken up by an emerging Human Dimensions of Wildlife field. Enck and Decker (1997), for instance, examined assumptions about stakeholders that appear to them to have formed the bases for some wildlife managment decisions—for example, the notion that these stakeholders divide neatly into consumptive users and “everybody else,” or that an expression of concern over the wellbeing of individual animals implies an opposition to the managing of wildlife. These and other assumptions are found lacking in empirical support. The work referred to earlier by Teel et al. (2005) was also produced as a direct response to the calls for wildlife managers to understand public attitudes towards wildlife. Meanwhile, in more specific case studies, Lauber et al. (2001) identified suburban deer management as “arguably an ethical problem: communities must make judgements about the right way to manage deer.” This paper made a distinction between management options aimed at reducing the deer population and those aimed at reducing the conflicts between deer and humans. They found variations in support for the two types of management options and in the number and types of value statements used as justification for that support. Lauber et al. (2002) studied attitudes towards urban goose populations, finding that the problem was not necessarily defined by all stakeholders simply as “too many geese,” and that controversy over management options could be reduced by understanding and educating stakeholder groups about the different existing views of what the problem was, and how different management options might mitigate it. 30 2.2. Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use These examples all demonstrate that, whether approached from the perspective of sociological analysis of human values and attitudes, or from philosophical analysis of value, the specific management policies to be recommended depend on what the ultimate goal of such management is—and that in turn depends on what is important. In turn, what is considered important has clearly differed in different locations, cultures, and eras (even if the question has no simple and straightforward answer in any given location, culture, and era.) Subsequent chapters in this thesis will examine the question of “what is important” in the current era, in Western culture, and in the specific context of “non-consumptive” wildlife tourism. First, however, we need to recognise that in addition to recent historical shifts in our value orientations towards wildlife in general, the context of non-consumptive wildlife tourism differs in important respects from the more traditional forms of wildlife use (hunting, trapping, and fishing), and these differences are also relevant to determining how to set managment policies. 2.2 Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use There are a number of overlapping and inconsistently used terms describing various subsets of tourist activities. Buckley (1994) proposed a framework where “nature-based tourism,” “conservation supporting tourism,” “sustainably managed tourism,” and “environmentally educated tourism” are partially overlapping subsets of tourism as a whole, and the intersection of all 31 2.2. Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use four forms a restrictive definition of “eco-tourism.” Orams (2000) suggested that some definitions of “eco-tourism” are so broad that anything might qualify, while others are so restrictive as to be impossible to achieve. Reynolds and Braithwaite (2001) modelled “nature-based tourism” and “rural tourism” as partly overlapping with “consumptive use of wildlife,” while showing “ecotourism” and “wildlife-based tourism” as partially overlapping subsets of “nature-based tourism.” One might add the term “non-consumptive tourism” to Reynolds and Braithwaite (2001)’s model to encompass those parts of nature-based, rural, and eco-tourism that do not overlap with the consumptive use of wildlife (i.e., hunting, trapping and fishing,) or with the consumptive use of other resources (e.g., mushroom, flower, berry collecting.)6 The notion that such “non-consumptive” use of the landscape is entirely benign has long been laid to rest (see, e.g., Tremblay, 2001; Wilkes, 1977), with both longer-term impacts such as trail erosion, understory simplification, and landscape modification for access roads, campsites, or amenities, and shorter-term impacts such as visual crowding being readily identified. Given the numerous and inconsistent definitions of the various forms of alternate/nature-based/wildlife/eco-tourism used, it is difficult to compile exact figures on the extent of these activities. Nevertheless, it is obvious that these activities have been increasing rapidly in recent decades, and are spreading to all corners of the globe. Headland (1994) identified Antarctic 6 But note that this definition differs from that used by Loo (2006) in reference to the 1920s and 1930s, where trophy hunting was considered “non-consumptive”, to differentiate it from subsistence or market hunting. 32 2.2. Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use tourism as starting in the early 1970s, and growing to over 3000 tourist-days by 1992. At the other extreme of latitude, Mason (1994) counted 22,000 visitors to the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Ocean (population: 3300) in 1991. Duffus and Dearden (1993) gave numbers of whale watching tourists ranging from 30,000 estimated for Vancouver Island to 498,000 for the Gulf of Maine, with tourist operations starting as early as the 1960s for Southern California and the early to mid-1980s around Puget Sound and Vancouver Island. Worldwide, Goodwin (1996) estimated “Environmentally sensitive tourism” to have grown from a $10bn industry in 1980 to $300bn in 2000, while “Ecotourism” grew from $4bn to $50bn and “Minimum impact tourism” from $25mn to $500mn over the same time period. This rapid increase in the extent of eco-tourism (however defined) has led to concerns over habitat changes due to trampling by tourists, infrastructure development, and even clearing vegetation to provide better views of wildlife (Ayres et al., 2008; Davenport and Davenport, 2006; Garcia-Frapolli et al., 2007; Hunter and Shaw, 2005; Razafimahaimodison, 2003; Rossi et al., 2009), pollution due to increased tourist populations without adequate infrastructure development (Davenport and Davenport, 2006; Giatti et al., 2004; Meletis and Campbell, 2009), concerns over social and cultural impacts on host communities (Simpson, 2008; Torn et al., 2008; Tsaur et al., 2006; West et al., 2006), and concerns that the promised economic and other benefits to host communities do not always materialise (Barkin, 2003; Charnley, 2005; Walpole and Thouless, 2005), and that the commodification and marketing 33 2.2. Wildlife tourism vs. other wildlife use of ecotourism can fail to reflect or encourage the intended increased environmental awareness or behaviour in tourists (Dorsey et al., 2004; Kruger, 2005). In wildlife-viewing tourism, wildlife (and usually large, rare, and charismatic wildlife in particular) are subject to close and repeated, yet supposedly benign, interactions with humans. As a special case of non-consumptive tourism, wildlife-viewing tourism shares all the concerns listed above. In addition, these close interactions raise the possibility of various other impacts of concern. While some scientific work has been done to assess the magnitude of these impacts, much of the science comes from a tradition of wildlife management rooted in a hunting paradigm (as seen in chapter 5), where the ultimate concern is the sustainability of populations, and any other measurable indicators of human impact are of relevance chiefly or solely to the extent that they affect the populations. The deeper question (as described by Rolston (1990) above) of whether population sustainability is the only valid management concern in this context has not been addressed. In this thesis, I will focus on types of tourism where a focal point of the activities is the viewing of wild, free-living animals. I will also focus my attention on the types of possible impacts or concerns that involve these wild, free-living animals (as opposed to impacts on habitat more generally, or on socio-economic or cultural impacts on host communities). In the following section, I will give some background details on a selected few wildlife viewing areas on the North American north-west coast as context within which to 34 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples understand the types of activities about which value content and societal concerns are explored in the following chapters. 2.3 Existing wildlife tourism management examples The sheer variety of contexts in which wildlife viewing tourism occurs makes general analysis difficult; I will therefore restrict my attention in this section to a small number of examples. The first is the K’tzim-a-deen (Khutzeymateen) Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in northern British Columbia, where grizzly bear viewing takes place based out of small inflatable (Zodiac-type) boats. The second is the McNeil River State Game Refuge and State Game Sanctuary in southern Alaska, where grizzly bear viewing takes place from landbased observation stations. Both of these are relatively strictly regulated, with limits to the number of humans allowed in the area. Brooks River, also in southern Alaska, is a third grizzly-viewing, where human visitation is not as strictly controlled, and visitor numbers are an order of magnitude higher than at the previous two. Next, I will look at Johnstone Strait in southern British Columbia, where both commercial and independent whalewatching is conducted both from shore and from a variety of vessels. Lastly, I will look at the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands, straddling the British Columbia/Washington border, where whale watching similar to Johnstone 35 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples Strait is conducted, but in closer proximity to larger cities, and with the added complication of cross-border jurisdictional issues. 2.3.1 K’tzim-a-deen The K’tzim-a-deen (Khutzeymateen) Grizzly Bear Sanctuary is located 45 km north-east of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia. The Sanctuary was created as a class ‘A’ provincial park (emphasizing conservation over recreation, while allowing First Nations7 access rights and resource use where compatible with grizzly bear conservation) in 1994, and is co-managed through a Memorandum of Understanding between the provincial government and Gitsi’is and other Tsimshian chiefs. Park lands encompass three Indian Reserves of the Port Simpson Band, with the remainder consisting of British Columbia Crown land (B.C. Parks). The park is managed jointly by B.C. Parks and the Tsimshian Tribal Council; during the tourist season, it is staffed by two Guardians (“acceptable to BC Parks and the Gitsi’is” (B.C. Parks, p. 37)) with a dual mandate of interpretating park features and enforcing regulations and viewing guidelines. During shoulder seasons, these Ranger staff positions are replaced by volunteer Park Hosts. The Khutzeymateen Sanctuary itself covers 445 km2 , and is located at the core of a larger 3850 km2 grizzly bear no-hunting zone. Grizzly bear viewing is concentrated on a tidal estuary at the mouth of the Khutzeyma7 The K’tzim-a-deen area is the historic territory of the Gitsi’is Tribe, which is part of the Tsimshian Tribal Council 36 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples teen River at the head of the Khutzeymateen inlet. Unlike the typical fall salmon run characterizing many grizzly bear viewing areas, bear viewing at the Khutzeymateen occurs primarily in the spring, when bears are feeding on grasses and sedges within the tidal estuary; bear viewing tapers off for the season when this vegetation grows tall enough to hide the bears from view. There is a salmon run on the Khutzeymateen River, but there is no readily accessible single point where fishing bears congregate. No permanent facilities exist in the park; a floating barge is temporarily moored within parks boundaries at the head of the inlet to provide accomodations for parks staff and an interpretive area in which to welcome parks visitors. Grizzly bear viewing has been conducted in the area since 1988 (Himmer, 1996), with two commercial tour operators bringing small groups (3–4 and 8–9, respectively) at a time. These groups are generally flown in from Prince Rupert by float plane, live aboard the tour operators’ sailboats (generally outside the sanctuary’s boundaries), and access the Khutzeymateen estuary by zodiac-type inflatable outboard-powered dinghies for bear viewing. These visits are limited to high tide periods, as the outboard motors require more water depth than remains in the channels at low tide. These two tour operators were instrumental in advocating for protection of the area, and are currently the only commercial operators permitted to bring tourists into the protected area. Very limited independent visitation to the area also occurs; a floating barge is towed to the area in the spring and houses the park 37 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples Guardians and volunteer Hosts, and any visitors wishing to enter the estuary must be accompanied by either a tour guide or Guardian (Himmer, 1996) Planning and management documents I had available for the K’tzim-adeen, based on field-work conducted in the area during my M.Sc. project, are a background document (B.C. Parks) prepared for B.C. Parks to guide the preparation of a master plan, an interim protection plan (B.C. Parks, 1994), and a wildlife viewing plan (B.C. Parks, 1993). In addition, I draw on personal experience of the park, having conducted research for my Master’s thesis there (Pitts, 2001), and on a report of previous research assessing the changes in bear behaviour due to tourist presence (Himmer, 1996). The planning and management documents emphasize both ecological goals of protecting grizzly bears and their habitat, and cultural goals of ensuring traditional first nations activities are allowed (where possible) to continue. The Interim Protection Plan lists these as follows: Objective 1: To establish specific measures that protect grizzly bears and the natural ecosystem of the Khutzeymateen (K’tzim-a-deen) and to identify issues to be addressed in the long term management plan. Objective 2: To establish measures that protect the Stewardship of the Gitsi’is Tribe’s traditional activities and cultural values, subject to the protection of the grizzly bears and their natural ecosystem (B.C. Parks, 1994) 38 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples The specifics of exactly what the bears are to be protected against (and thus, how to assess whether the recommended protection measures are adequate) are vague. Disturbance and normal behaviour are mentioned in the Interim Protection Plan, suggesting that management should strive to avoid any changes in normal activities or in normal patterns of habitat use: Disturbance of bears by people and motorized access result in displacement of wary animals from their normal activities and habitats. (B.C. Parks, 1994) The Wildlife Viewing Plan, meanwhile, accepts that these short-term, behavioural reactions may not lead to population effects (implying that it is these population effects that are of ultimate concern), but then goes on to recommend that harassment should be avoided anyway, as being “unnecessary”: There is no evidence that extreme reactions of grizzly bears to human harassment have a negative population effect, but harassment under most circumstances is unnecessary and should be avoided. (B.C. Parks, 1993) A key recommendation of the Wildlife Viewing Plan is to allow visitation only when accompanied by a guide. This recommendation, however, appears justified primarily by appeal to visitor safety, rather than by appeal to grizzly protection: There are enough hazards to public safety in the Khutzeymateen Valley that I believe only guided wildlife viewing will help ensure public safety. (B.C. Parks, 1993) 39 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples These hazards to visitor safety are further broken down into three groups: tidal mudflats, which make navigation (especially in deeper-keeled vessels) difficult; weather, including storms, tides, and heavy winds which may make return travel from the estuary (especially by rowed or paddled craft) difficult; and bears, especially where partially habituated bears’ behaviour may be mistaken by visitors lacking the ability to “judge the disposition of the bear, particularly whether or not it may be aggressive.” (B.C. Parks, 1993) On this last point, the Interim Protection Plan adds that human visitation may lead to bear habituation and that while a habituated bear may approach humans without presenting an actual risk, tourists unfamiliar with the area and the bears within it may misinterpret such an approach as aggression— and if these tourists are armed to defend themselves, this misinterpretation may lead to unnecessary defensive actions and bear deaths: The actions of mildly habituated bears may be misinterpreted by viewers not familiar with the individual personalities of the habituated bears, resulting in increased risk to the bear. If firearms are present, such encounters may result in the unnecessary killing of bears. (B.C. Parks, 1994) The question of whether this bear habituation to human presence is desirable or undesirable is raised in the Khutzeymateen management documents. A distinction is drawn in the literature between habituation and food conditioning (Aumiller and Matt, 1994; MacHutchon and Wellwood, 2002a,b; Smith et al., 2005). Habituation is generally considered relatively neutral and consists of wild animals losing their “natural” (or, at least, pre-existing) 40 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples wariness of humans, ceasing to react strongly to tourists. Food conditioning occurs when wild animals receive a food reward associated with human presence. Food conditioning is generally considered negative, as food-conditioned animals will tend to seek further food from humans, and often become aggressive in this pursuit (Aumiller and Matt, 1994; Gunther, 1994; MacHutchon and Wellwood, 2002a). Where the animals are large and powerful, this is an obvious danger to the tourist, and frequently results in management having to relocate or kill the “offending” animal. The desirability of habituation without food conditioning is debated. On the one hand, animals habituated to non-consumptive wildlife viewing tourists may generalise this habituation to hunters, thus becoming more vulnerable to hunting pressure. Smith et al. (2005) draws a distinction between ‘habituation’, which implies a change in bear behaviour over time and is thus of concern to parks management, and ‘tolerance’, which merely implies pre-existing variation in how bears react to people, which is natural and therefore not of concern to management. On the other hand, reducing energetically costly and/or stressful reactions to human presence would improve the well-being of the animals being watched, as well as make them more readily viewed (Herrero et al., 2005). All of these various considerations are raised in the Khutzeymateen Wildlife Viewing Plan. First, the concern is raised that bears habituated to wildlife tourism within the park may become easier targets for hunters outside the 41 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples no-hunting area surrounding the park. Some limitation of human presence is thought to reduce habituation, and mitigate against this concern. If adult males become well-habituated to humans as a result of viewing activities, then they will be more vulnerable to hunting when they move outside the no-hunting area. Conversely, if adult males remain wary of humans because of their experiences outside the Khutzeymateen, viewing could disturb their foraging and mating activities while at the Khutzeymateen estuary. (B.C. Parks, 1993) If adult males only experience humans periodically and for short periods of time I believe they will retain their wariness of humans when outside the protected area. (B.C. Parks, 1993) Conversely, it is pointed out both above and in the quote below, that those bears that are less tolerant of human presence (whether due to variations in “natural” tolerance or due to habituation) are more affected by tourist presence—bears that ignore humans and do not change their activities in response to them do not need to pay the energetic or time-budget costs of responding to human presence. Grizzly bears fearful or wary of humans undergo stress, and make temporal or spacial adjustments in their activity patterns in areas of human use. At feeding sites visited by people, bears fearful of humans may cease feeding and seek cover. Frequent interruptions may result in abandonment of prime habitat. Habituation to people can reduce the time and energy costs associated with fear responses to human activity. (B.C. Parks, 1993) 42 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples This tension regarding the desirability or undesirability of bear habituation is only partially resolved, with the Wildlife Viewing Plan recommending that the habituation of bears be minimised while the Interim Protection Plan accepts a mild habituation of a few bears. This is more a difference in emphasis than management strategy, however, as neither document advocates widespread or heavy habituation of any bears: I believe the best strategy for bear viewing in the Khutzeymateen is to minimize the number of bears that are heavily habituated and maximize the number of bears that are partially or nonhabituated. (B.C. Parks, 1993) The acceptance of a few mildly habituated bears allows for safe high quality wildlife viewing in a controlled environment. (B.C. Parks, 1994) Food conditioning, on the other hand, is generally accepted to be undesirable in a wildlife viewing area8 (Gunther, 1994; MacHutchon and Wellwood, 2002a), and the Khutzeymateen is no exception. In other areas, past access by bears to food or garbage has led to problems with food-conditioned bears becoming aggressive towards humans, and to a need to protect human lives and property by destroying these bears (e.g. Yellowstone (Craighead et al., 1995; Gunther, 1994); McNeil River (Aumiller and Matt, 1994)). In the Khutzeymateen, no such history exists, and management attempted to 8 At least, at the current time. Historically, intentional food conditioning has been used in, e.g. Yellowstone National Park to provide predictable wildlife viewing opportunities (Craighead et al., 1995). 43 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples avoid similar problems when creating the Sanctuary. This area therefore has no permanent, land-based human presence. Instead, a floating base camp for the park Guardians is towed in from Prince Rupert and moored within the park only during the summer months: Land-based accomodation invariably leads to food-conditioned bears, at which time bear-human interactions become dangerous and unpredictable. The only facility that should be considered within the boundaries of the protected area is a floating camp to accomodate the guardians. The camp should be floating to eliminate the possibility of bears getting access to human food or garbage. (B.C. Parks, 1993) The remote wilderness character of the Khutzeymateen Sanctuary and the quality of the visitor experience provide additional justifications for keeping both visitor facilities and bear habituation to a minimum. While the main purpose of wildlife viewing tourism is to interact with wildlife, such interactions are not always necessary for tourists to feel satisfied. Orams (2000), for instance, reports that 35% of whale-watchers report satisfaction with the whale-watching trip even when no whales were sighted. On the other hand, viewing wildlife is also not sufficient to explain why tourists would travel to remoter areas like the Khutzeymateen, rather than engaging in bear-viewing tours closer to urban centres; there is something satisfying about the fact that wild animals are difficult to see, and high levels of wildlife habituation may reduce that satisfaction by making the animal too easy to view. Likewise, part of the wilderness experience has to do with being in a wild, 44 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples un-“improved” area (see Krakoff, 2003). The Khutzeymateen Wildlife Viewing Plan explains that Satisfaction has to do not only with people’s sense of reward in seeing a bear but also with the area’s scenic beauty, other wildlife and interpretative features, the feeling of being in grizzly bear country, and the sense of wilderness [. . . ] Some believe that visitors gain a greater appreciation of wilderness and ecosystem relationships in a challenging setting like the Khutzeymateen than they would in areas where wildlife is relatively easy to see. (B.C. Parks, 1993) While the notion of “nature” is problematic academically (see, e.g., Cronon, 1995), it does seem obvious that that part of the wildlife viewing experience would be reduced by the presence of permanent ranger cabins, boardwalks, and viewing platforms. In addition to recommendations for management policies, the Khutzeymateen planning documents also include recommendations for further research and monitoring of wildlife viewing activities within the Sanctuary, and of any negative effects these activities might have. These recommendations can be taken as an indicator of which negative effects might be of concern to parks management. The Wildlife Viewing Plan focuses on behavioural changes and spatial distributions of individual bears, while the Interim Protection Plan also adds recommendations for monitoring of other ecosystem components, such as the distribution of non-bear species, and trampling or other degradation of viewing sites: 45 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples Research into the impact of viewing on bear behaviour would help facilitate more effective management of viewing activities. This type of research could: compare bear use of the estuary when people are present versus when they are not, try to examine differences in behaviour of various age and sex classes when people are present versus when they are not, compare differences in the spatial distribution of bears when people are present versus when they are not, and try to gauge the variability in activity and age and sex class of bears that are not visible versus those that are active in the open, again when people are present and when they are not. (B.C. Parks, 1993) Indicators such as apparent changes in bear behaviour and reduced use of estuary areas due to human activities will be monitored. Only mild habituation to humans shall be acceptable and human activity shall not result in decreased use of the estuary by bears. Other ecosystem components such as waterfowl disturbance or degree of site degradation may also be closely monitored. (B.C. Parks, 1994) The inclusion of both site degradation and bear use of the estuary (which speak largely to an underlying concern with the sustainability of the park and the grizzly bear population over longer time scales) and changes to the behaviours of individual bears (which speak largely to an underlying concern with the well-being or welfare of individual bears over shorter time scales) agrees with the suggestions earlier in this chapter that management concerns are currently broader than the “classical” view of wildlife as a resource and of management being concerned solely with ensuring that use of this resource is not excessive. 46 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples 2.3.2 McNeil River McNeil River is located 340 km southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Bear viewing is concentrated at a few rapids on the McNeil River and on the nearby Mikfik Creek. These rapids lead to an aggregation of migrating salmon, which draws a reliable concentration of grizzly (brown) bears. There is a campground approximately 2 km from these rapids; the bear viewing areas are accessed from the campground by foot. The McNeil River State Game Refuge and State Game Sanctuary Management Plan (Schempf and Meehan, 2008) identifies unregulated bear viewing during the 1960s and early 1970s (including inappropriate food storage and garbage disposal) as a contributing factor to observed bear declines, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game began active management of bear viewing in 1973. The area was protected as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967, with the stated purpose of maintaining a bear population for the public to watch, photograph and enjoy: The McNeil River State Game Sanctuary was established to maintain a high number of bears for the public to observe and photograph. Unrestricted public use of the McNeil River Brown Bear Sancutary has reached a point where it endangers those values, which attract observers and photographers. The Department should therefore manage public use in an effort to perpetuate those intrinsic values which make the Sanctuary unique for public enjoyment (Schempf and Meehan, 2008) In 1991, the Sanctuary was expanded, and a Refuge created to the north, further expanding the protected area. To the purpose of public observation, 47 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples scientific and educational purposes were added to the reasons to protect bears and other wildlife. Management of human use is still aimed at protecting bear viewing opportunities, and other non-consumptive and consumptive activities (fishing, hunting and trapping) are also condoned in the refuge, though not in the sanctuary: 1. The permanent protection of brown bear and other fish and wildlife populations and their habitats for scientific, aesthetic, and educational purposes; 2. To manage human use and activities in a way that is compatible with that purpose and to maintain and enhance unique bear viewing opportunities in the sanctuary; 3. To provide compatible opportunities for wildlife viewing, fisheries enhancement, fishing, temporary safe anchorage and other activities in both the sanctuary and refuge, and, in the refuge, for hunting and trapping opportunities if compatible with sanctuary management objectives (Schempf and Meehan, 2008) These goals are supported by a compatibility policy for both the sanctuary and the refuge. While the stated purposes for which the refuge and sanctuary were established (above) emphasize the protection of bear viewing opportunities, the compatibility policy requires that viewing and other activities within the refuge and sanctuary not “disturb or displace” bears or other wildlife. Whether or not these are synonymous is not clear; if disturbed or displaced bears are nonetheless viewable, then the compatibility policy may 48 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples be stricter than implied by the stated goal of providing a high number of bears to be watched: Uses and activities may be allowed in the sanctuary and refuge when the uses and activities are compatible with the purposes for which the refuge and sanctuary were established and the goals and policies of the management plan. Uses and activities will be restricted as necessary to 1) prevent disturbance to or displacement of bears and other fish and wildlife, 2) prevent erosion, trampling, and other impacts to habitats; and 3) maintain public access to refuge or sanctuary resources. (Schempf and Meehan, 2008) The management plan also calls for an educational or information-providing role. As with the compatibility policy, the educational policy goes beyond concern with the number of bears, and emphasizes the avoidance of impacts to “natural behaviour” with a specific policy to: Provide information to refuge and sanctuary users regarding resource values and rules, especially information about avoiding impacts to natural brown bear behavior, and uses and activities occurring in the refuge and sanctuary. (Schempf and Meehan, 2008) In practice, these policies and goals have been implemented through a permitting system, whereby no more than 10 visitors per day are allowed at bear-viewing areas, located around a kilometer upstream of a campground with a maximum capacity of 15. All visitors are accompanied by sanctuary staff, and management of visitor behaviour is aimed at encouraging habituation in bears while protecting personal space around visitors and the campsite 49 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples (Aumiller and Matt, 1994). Management at McNeil River is generally considered highly successful, and is held up as an example for other areas to follow, due to the absence of aggressive interactions between bears and human visitors. This success is credited to the separation of habituation (i.e., bears becoming tolerant of neutral human presence) from food conditioning (i.e., bears accessing human food or garbage, and associating humans with a positive food reward) (Aumiller and Matt, 1994). In contrast to the Khutzeymateen (subsection 2.3.1), habituation in the absence of food conditioning is encouraged at McNeil, and considered key to the success and safety of the bear viewing program. The role of sanctuary staff accompanying visitors is seen as key to maintaining the consistent human behaviour necessary to “train” the bears: If we arbitrarily retreated from a curious bear one day and approached it on another day, we missed an opportunity to reinforce the appropriate behavior in that bear. We found that inconsistent behavior in interactions caused bears to avoid humans, whereas as [sic] consistently neutral behavior reinforced habituation. As with any other behavior modification scenario, it is important to give consistent responses in order to facilitate learning of the desired behavior. (Aumiller and Matt, 1994) The understanding of the interactions between bear and tourist behaviour is the same in the Khutzeymateen and at McNeil River, especially as it relates to the process of habituation and the distinction between habituation and food conditioning. Yet the management conclusions are almost oppo50 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples site. At McNeil (possibly due to historical reasons: the campground was established well before the area became protected for the sake of the bears), land-based facilities are an acceptable incursion to the wilderness character of the Sanctuary, “training” wildlife to behave in acceptable ways around humans is an acceptable complementary strategy to training humans to behave in acceptable ways around wildlife, and managing for large numbers of highly habituated, easy-to-view wild bears is not considered incompatible with the mandate to protect wildlife populations. 2.3.3 Brooks River Brooks River is located in the Katmai National Park, which encompasses approximately 16,000 km2 at the head of the Alaska Peninsula. Bear viewing is concentrated around fall salmon runs at falls and riffles along the Brooks River. Infrastructure development for bear viewing is more extensive here than at McNeil River or the Khutzeymateen, with bear viewing platforms, camping facilities, and constructed walkways linking the two. While overnight use had been limited by existing facilities, no management limits had been placed on day-use visitor numbers, and increasing visitor numbers in the late 1980s spurred a need for planning future management. Unlike the previous two areas, Brooks River is a destination for sport fishing in addition to wildlife viewing, and a fishing lodge and campground pre-date the growth of bear viewing as a major recreational activity. 51 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples The Brooks River Development Concept Plan (National Park Service, 1996) laid out the goals and objectives of management and examined five alternative proposals in light of these goals and objectives. As in the two areas discussed previously, the first goal relates to bears; while the Khutzeymateen “protects grizzly bears” and McNeil River “maintains a high number of bears for the public to observe”, Brooks River “ensures the continued use of the area by bears”. In contrast to the Khutzeymateen, which is intentionally kept completely undeveloped, management at Brooks River is also tasked with providing facilities (campgrounds, a fishing lodge, and facilities for cleaning and packaging fish) for visitors. In contrast to McNeil River, where one of the roles of staff is to help “train” the wild bears to tolerate humans, at Brooks River both habituation and food conditioning are to be reduced: The proposal and alternatives presented in this document address the needs to (1) ensure the continued use of the Brooks River area by bears and other wildlife, (2) reduce the extent of ongoing impacts on cultural resources, (3) provide facilities to adequately serve visitors and staff and maintain a quality visitor experience with minimum impact on critical wildlife habitats and significant cultural resources, (4) establish use limits and a monitoring program for the Brooks River area that would prevent overcrowding, (5) reduce human/bear encounters and conflicts in the area and (6) reduce habituation and food conditioning in the local bear population. (National Park Service, 1996, p. iv.) Also unlike both the Khutzeymateen and McNeil River, Brooks River is a popular sport-fishing destination. This introduces a number of potential 52 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples conflicts, including competition between bears and humans for fish, the risk of attraction of bears by refuse from cleaning and gutting fish, and problems of crowding or other conflicts between anglers and bear viewers: A critical resource management issue in the Brooks River area is how to control the growing numbers of anglers, photographers, and bear viewers without severely impacting the natural dynamics of the local brown bear population, or degrading the visitor experience. (National Park Service, 1996, p. 3.) Further, the fact that more facilities are provided at Brooks River than at either McNeil River or the Khutzeymateen generates an expectation that such facilities are adequate for the number of tourists accomodated. Growth in the number of visitors requires that the facilities provided keep pace: The area has become so popular that existing facilities cannot accommodate visitor demands. The visitor experience has suffered from overcrowding, and serious concern has been expressed regarding the potential impacts this crowding has on the wildlife in the area, especially the local brown bear population.(National Park Service, 1996, p. iii.) The Brooks River Area Development Concept Plan examined various options for how to develop the facilities in order to meet these increasing demands. To this end, it presented seven alternatives, including a non-action alternative. In order to judge between the alternatives, the Plan laid out a detailed set of “Desired Futures for the Brooks River Area”, which included the general goal of “protecting ecosystem functions” as well as more specific 53 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples goals related to fish spawning grounds, cultural resource sites, protection of the environment from the fuel used at the camp area, and educating visitors about the significance of cultural and historical features of the area. Specifically related to bear viewing was a general goal of protecting habitat in addition to specific goals related to the quality of recreational experiences, which should be unhurried, uncrowded, and safe, while avoiding interference with the wildlife’s behaviours or uses of the area: • Protect and maintain prime brown bear habitat • Enhance high quality recreation experiences in the Brooks River area by maintaining low-to-moderate interaction levels between visitors; visits to the area should feature small groups, an unhurried atmosphere, and occasional opportunities for solitude • Make brown bear habitat along Brooks River accessible for bear viewing and sportfishing in a manner as safe as possible for visitors and to the degree that it does not significantly interfere with wildlife use and behaviour (National Park Service, 1996, pp. 10–11.) As the Brooks River wildlife viewing areas is a small part of the much larger Katmai National Park, the goals of the broader park are also relevant. These goals include retaining a naturally regulated population of bears that is not adversely affected by humans and reducing food-conditioning of bears in order to minimize bear-human confrontations: 54 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples • Maintain the park and preserve as an area where brown bears can exist as naturally as possible with minimal adverse effects from humans • The objectives of [. . . ] bear management [. . . ] are to retain a naturally regulated population of brown bears in the park and to preclude the food-reinforced attraction of bears to people and thereby minimize confrontations between bears and people. (National Park Service, 1996, pp. 13–15.) The different development options for the Brooks River area differ in terms of how much new infrastructure would be developed, which specific sites would be developed, and whether some or all of the existing infrastructure would be relocated to various new sites. Common to all options considered, however, are major goals to provide bear viewing and photography opportunities, to maintain a relatively uncrowded visitor experience, to maximise visitors’ safety, and to avoid adverse impacts on the bear population: Bear viewing and photography, and wildife viewing in general, are encouraged as part of the visitor experience in each alternative. To maintain the quality of the experience, use limits in the core bear viewing area and on specific bear viewing platforms would be established. To ensure that fewer human/bear encounters occur in the future, and that bear viewing would not adversely affect the local bear population, the proposed approaches and locations of all bear viewing platforms were carefully chosen with respect to bear use along the river being the major locational factor. (National Park Service, 1996, pp. 22–23.) 55 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples As in other areas, aggressive or food-related human-bear encounters are a major concern at Brooks River. At Brooks River, the popularity of sport fishing raises additional concerns regarding human-bear encounters that were not raised at the areas discussed previously. The reason opportunities for bear viewing exist here is that the bears are feeding on salmon, and the salmon congregate in predictable locations. This means that the bears also congregate in predictable locations. By the same token, however, human anglers are chasing the same fish, and thus use the same locations: Angling is the most intrusive human activity in this prime [bear] habitat because it requires that the person be in the river in direct competition for space with foraging bears. (National Park Service, 1996, p. 26.) To reduce the incidence of “human/bear encounters, of bear food conditioning incidents (like bears stealing fish from anglers), of trespass incidents by bears through developed areas, and of excessive habituation of the local bear population” (National Park Service, 1996, p. 26.), the Development Concept Plan proposes the establishment of “bear-free zones” around campgrounds, lodges, and other infrastructure, and of “human-free zones” along some reaches of the river at certain periods during the season. While we saw earlier that habituation is less acceptable at Brooks River than at McNeil River (where staff trained bears to tolerate humans), the proposal to establish “bear-free zones” implies a requirement to “train” bears to avoid these zones. 56 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples A further problem introduced by angling is the attraction of bears to fish-processing wastes. It is proposed that fishing regulations be changed to catch-and-release only, which would eliminate these problems with waste created by fish cleaning. As was the case for the Khutzeymateen, the Brooks River Area Development Concept Plan makes recommendations for monitoring the results of management efforts. The Plan distinguishes between indicators (such as the number of people on a viewing platform, or the number of times anglers run into other anglers) and standards (which give a maximum value for the variables defined as indicators.) However, variables regarding bear behaviour and presences are explicitly excluded as they are not amenable to direct management: Indicators and standards that would be subject to the variables in nature were not included for the obvious reason that they could not be guaranteed to happen and could not, indeed should not, be managed directly. For example, indicators such as the number of bears at the falls per day or the number of sows with cubs visiting the cutbank per week would be impossible to guarantee. (National Park Service, 1996, p. 30.) The tabulated list of indicators is separated into two categories: those concerned with the visitor experience (e.g., number of people at each viewing platform, number of angling encounters, average wait times for shuttles or access to viewing platforms, amount of time spent on viewing platforms), and those related to direct management of bears due to aggressive encounters (e.g., number of bear trespass incidents, of armed responses, of bears killed, 57 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples of fish stealing, of bluff charges, and of property damage incidents) (National Park Service, 1996, p. 32.) Unlike the case for the Khutzeymateen, monitoring of the actual impacts of bear viewing (or other) activities on the bears themselves is explicitly excluded from this Development Plan. It is not clear why, for instance, stating that the number of bears trespassing into campgrounds exceeding a certain threshold should trigger additional management measures is acceptable, but stating that the number of bears using the falls each day dropping below some threshold should likewise trigger management measures is unjustified because the number of bears using the falls is subject to natural processes that management cannot guarantee. 2.3.4 Johnstone Strait Johnstone Strait is located between the mainland and Vancouver Island, approximately 275 km north-east of Vancouver. The Strait is about 3–4 km wide, and the Vancouver Island side of it includes Robson Bight, which is characterised by pebble beaches on which killer whales engage in rubbing and resting behaviours. Robson Bight was protected as an ecological reserve in 1982, and is managed for the specific aim of being a “sanctuary for killer whales” (Goulet et al., 1992). Both independent boaters and commercial tour operators watch whales in Johnstone Strait, but most of this activity had occurred outside the area protected as the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. Managment recommendations for Johnstone Strait noted that no formal management infrastructure regulated whale watching activities, that 58 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples current whale watching charter operators tended to be more informed about whale watching techniques than the general public and were considered a very responsible group (though potential for growth and the entry of new, less experienced operators was noted), and that there was widespread public support for completely closing Robson Bight to whale-watching activities, increasing formal regulations of activities in the rest of Johnstone Strait, and encouraging land-based viewing to reduce the number of marine-based tourists (Goulet et al., 1992). A B.C. Parks brochure about the reserve, aimed at educating the general public, states that “Ecological reserves are established for the benefit of wild species and their environment, not for the benefit of human recreation” (B.C. Parks, 2001), and refers to the Fisheries Act, under which the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR, 1996) specifically prohibit the “disturbance” of whales, and to the Ecological Reserve Act regulations, under which “No person shall enter upon an ecological reserve for a purpose inconsistent with the Ecological Reserve Act. In addition, no person shall molest animals or discharge firearms within a reserve.”(B.C. Parks, 2001) The whale watching guidelines themselves are detailed as concerns human behaviour near whales (and other marine mammals), with specific approach distances (no closer than 100 m), approach speeds (2 to 4 knots) and time limits (30 minutes within 200 m of whales): 59 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples • Approach whales slowly and from the side, not from the front or rear. Approach no closer than 100 meters and shift your motor into neutral or idle. Keep noise levels down: no horns, whistles, shouting or racing of motors. Limit the time spent with any group of whales to less than 30 minutes at a time when within 100–200 metres of them. • Engage your motor only after the whales are more than 100 metres from your vessel. Leave the area slowly, gradually accelerating when more than 300 metres from the whale(s). • Avoid disturbing groups of resting whales. Maintain steady, low speeds (2 to 4 knots) and constant direction if travelling parallel to whales. • When more than one vessel is at the same observation site, avoid any boat position than [sic] would result in encircling the whale(s). Observe the 30-minute time limit (when within 100–200 metres) and move out to allow other vessels to good viewing positions. Charter operators should coordinate activities by maintaining contact and ensuring that all operators are aware of these whale watching guidelines. (B.C. Parks, 2001) These guidelines essentially re-state the “Be Whale Wise” guidelines coproduced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S.9 . Other than a general exhortation to be familiar with “distances required and activities which will disturb or interfere with [whales]”, the Robson Bight guidelines do not offer much background or justification for why these distances should be required or what the consequences of approaching too close to the whales might be. The “Be Whale Wise” guidelines do define disturbance in terms 9 http://www.bewhalewise.org/ 60 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples of interfering with natural behaviours critical to maintaining healthy populations: Disturbance is when we interfere with an animal’s ability to hunt, feed, communicate, socialize, rest, breed, or care for its young. These are critical processes, necessary for healthy marine wildlife populations. (DFO and NOAA, 2006) This definition of disturbance focuses on non-interference with natural behaviours, yet the emphasis on healthy marine wildlife populations seems to appeal to a resource-based conception of wildlife, where it is the sustainability of the population that is of greatest concern. However, the specific recommendations in the same set of guidelines are introduced with a primary overarching recommendation to “Be cautious and courteous.” This notion of courtesy implies a conception of (at least some) wildlife that is far more empathetic to individuals than the focus on healthy populations suggests. 2.3.5 Gulf Islands/San Juan Islands This area crosses the US/Canada border, and is in close proximity to several major urban centres (Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle). It is home to the southern resident killer whale population, which was declared threatened by COSEWIC (the Committe on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) in 1999. Whale watching in this area began around 1984, and has since grown dramatically, peaking at 81 commercial boats in 1997 and dropping to 73 commercial boats in 1994 (Koski and Osborne, 2005). 61 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples The published discussions of management in this area (Koski and Osborne, 2005; Osborne et al., 2001; Spradlin et al., 2001) focus primarily on the form of management, rather than on its content. This management is based on community-based self-regulation using an adaptive management approach. Rather than regulations set down by the respective government agencies, stakeholders (including commercial tour operators, private whale watchers, conservationists, and representatives of government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations) initiated the creation of voluntary guidelines to deal with issues emerging from the increase in whale watching activities: Vessel-based whale watch management in the Salish Sea has followed this type of an adaptive management approach through the use of stakeholder initiated voluntary guidelines that are annually monitored and updated to meet current conditions. (Koski and Osborne, 2005) The Whale Museum also conducted the First Annual San Juan Islands Whale Watching Workshop and held subsequent community workshops from 1988 to 1997 (13 workshops total). These workshops brought commercial, private and shore-based whale watchers, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and scientists together to discuss emerging whale watching issues and techniques to reduce potential vessel impacts on the whales and shorebased whale watchers. (Koski and Osborne, 2005) The authors of this report, however, do not mention what exactly the emerging issues are, nor what impacts vessels may have on either whales 62 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples or shore-based whale watchers. In fact, they cite a Canadian court case in which proving that whales had been harassed was considered an unreasonable burden of proof; the fact that voluntary guidelines were violated was sufficient for the court to conclude that the Marine Mammal Regulations of the Fisheries Act of 1985 (MMR, 1996, which, as quoted in chapter 1, merely forbid “disturbing a marine mammal”) were breached.10 They go on to state that the nature and consequences of unacceptable behaviour are not clear: While few would argue against the need for consequences for repeated ‘bad’ vessel behaviour around whales, defining what ‘bad’ behaviour is and what effects in might have on the whales has not been clearly defined. (Koski and Osborne, 2005) Despite the lack of clarity on bad behaviour and its consequences, this stakeholder process is considered highly successful, and resulted in the “Be Whale Wise”11 guidelines mentioned under subsection 2.3.4. These guidelines appear to fill in some reasonable detail defining what ‘bad’ vessel behaviour is; what effects it might have on the whales, however, is still unclear. Nevertheless, in addition to the acceptance of the guidelines in court of law as surrogates for actually proving that an animal has been disturbed, the guidelines have received “buy-in” from the respective government agencies, in the form of co-funding for and partnership with a Soundwatch Boater Education Program, which consists of a patrol boat (the Soundwatcher ) which patrols 10 But see also subsection 4.4.2, where one tour guide opines that the guidelines were meant as a “courtesy,” and that legal sanctions should be reserved for more severe violations where actual harm to the whale can be demonstrated. 11 http://www.bewhalewise.org/ 63 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples the water to provide educational materials to wildlife watchers and to provide “a scientific platform to help characterize vessel activities and to evaluate the successes and failures of current guidelines” (Koski and Osborne, 2005). In addition to using a stakeholder-driven and community-based process, Koski and Osborne (2005) emphasize that wildlife viewing management in the San Juan and Gulf Islands is based on an adaptive management paradigm. The key feature of this paradigm is that it is data-driven and objective-based: research and data collection are integrated into a cyclical process of refining the management guidelines. As an example of the experimental nature of the management, they mention “No Sound in the Sound Days” as an experimental approach to reducing noise impacts from vessels: In 1994, as an experiment, The Whale Museum conducted two No Sound in the Sound Days to reduce the potential noise impact from vessels around the whales. Success of the No Sound in the Sound Days experiment was due largely to individual commercial whale watch companies operating in agreement as an industry and coordinating with the educational patrol vessels. Over 80 regional environmental organizations and businesses endorsed this effort, reaffirming public interest in addressing emerging whale watch issues. (Koski and Osborne, 2005) The specific objectives of this management experiment were left implied rather than stated explicitly. It seems that the “success” of the experiment consisted of large buy-in from whale watchers, which was successful at reducing the amount of noise generated by vessels on those days. Whether reducing the noise was in itself the objective of the exercise, or whether re64 2.3. Existing wildlife tourism management examples ducing noise was seen as a means of reducing (undefined) impacts on the whales is not clearly stated, but reporting on the success of the “No Sound in the Sound Days” focuses solely on the former; no mention is made about the latter. The future of this so-far successful (however that success is assessed) community-based adaptive management approach, however, is at risk. Following COSEWIC listing of the southern resident killer whale population as threatened in 1999, interest in whale watching grew, the number of stakeholders increased, and the objectives of whale watching management and guidelines (which, as I have noted, were not clearly and explicitly stated) came into question: [. . . ]the mounting attention whale watching was receiving in the media, opened the door to more players, issues, goverment funding and larger repercussions regarding whale watch management. The new complexity began to overwhelm the community-based adaptive management process previously in place. The increased number of stakeholders and issues involved, threatened the current ‘rational, data driven, objective-based management that previously linked research and management’ because the objectives became suspect. The endless process of ‘questioning existing assumptions, exploring altenative ones, envisioning potential scenarios for management, made experimenting with solutions’ untenable. (Koski and Osborne, 2005) In sum, it seems that detailed guidelines were created to define ‘bad vessel behaviour’ around marine mammals, with scant reference to what consequences such behaviour would have on the marine mammals (or to any 65 2.4. Need to make implicit values explicit other rationale for why those particular behaviours are ‘bad.’) The success of these guidelines was assessed by seeing whether they were followed. This was considered a successful example of “rational, data driven, objective-based management,” and new stakeholders questioning whether the objectives were appropriate was seen as a threat to management success. 2.4 Need to make implicit values explicit In the first part of this chapter (section 2.1), we saw an evolution in the scale of concern for the appropriate way to manage wildlife, moving from the concern with populations of furbearing and game animals to a concern with larger ecosystemic processes on the one hand, and to a concern with wellbeing or welfare on shorter, individual-animal scales on the other. It is clear that management of wildlife tourism involves more subtle potential impacts on wildlife than does managing solely the direct mortality effects of hunting, trapping or fishing. It is not clear from previous work how various concerns at different spatial and temporal scales, and originating from different fundamental moral orientations towards wildlife, can best be combined into specific management policies. In the second part of this chapter, I examined a few representative examples of wildlife viewing management plans. In all cases examined (The Khutzeymateen, McNeil River, and Brooks River grizzly (brown) bear viewing areas, and the Johnstone Strait/Robson Bight and the transboundary San 66 2.4. Need to make implicit values explicit Juan/ Gulf Islands whale watching areas), there is a concern with rapidly increasing numbers of wildlife tourists. In the grizzly bear examples, there is a fair amount of discussion of what the specific management objectives should be, and how specific policies address these objectives. In addition, both the objectives and the policies differ slightly from one area to the next. Thus, for instance, in the Khutzeymateen, the “wilderness character” is valued, and to preserve it, no permanent facilities are constructed for tourists. At Brooks River, by contrast, “crowding” is a problem, and is addressed by constructing enough facilities to meet tourist demand without bottlenecks. McNeil River is intermediate between the two, with a campground and trails for tourists, but also with daily limits on how many tourists are allowed to access prime viewing sites. The views of bear habituation also differ between areas. In all cases, food conditioning (bears seeking out human food) is strongly discouraged, as it leads to bears aggressively seeking out human food. However, the treatment of habituation when not linked to food conditioning varies. In the Khutzeymateen, mild habituation is accepted, as it may reduce stress in bears, and provides good viewing opportunities, while strong habituation is discouraged, as it reduces the wilderness characteristics of the bears, and may even reduce viewing satisfaction as a highly habituated bear is no longer as wild and wary, and thus viewing it is less of a rare priviledge. At McNeil, habituation is actively encouraged (indeed, a key role of staff is to “train” or habituate bears), as predictable behaviour by both bears and tourists reduces the risk of ag67 2.4. Need to make implicit values explicit gression. At Brooks River, habituation is in general discouraged, but bears are nonetheless “trained” to avoid designated “bear-free zones” around the human encampment. In contrast to these, the whale examples seem less focussed on the whales themselves, and more focussed on consistency of regulations from one area to another, and with “buy-in” to the (mostly voluntary) regulations by tourists and tour operators. The Johnstone Strait Killer Whale committee’s recommendations were largely focussed on excluding tourists from a specific area (the Robson Bight Killer Whale Sanctuary), with management of viewing in the remainder of Johnstone Strait following the guidelines developed further south. The discussion of the management in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, meanwhile, focussed mostly on the successes in generating guidelines through discussion and consensus amongst stakeholders, and in having the guidelines generally adhered to by most tour operators and individual boaters. In light of the changing values towards wildlife in general sketched out at the beginning of this chapter, it is necessary to make explicit the oftenimplicit values and goals driving management efforts. If wildlife is a resource to be used by humans, and the only relevant questions regarding management are what type of use is most “efficient” and sustainable, then managemnt will take one direction. If wild animals are seen more as individuals with moral claims to be free from disturbance, fear or stress caused by tourism, then management efforts would need to take a different direction to guard against these potential harms. There is therefore a need to make explicit what goals 68 2.4. Need to make implicit values explicit and values are appropriate for the management of wildlife-viewing tourism. The first step in this project is to examine these and other views of wildlife as formulated by the literature on environmental and animal ethics, and to attempt to derive specific prescriptions for the management of wildlife viewing tourism from the various ethical theories offered by that literature. 69 Chapter 3 Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management We have seen in the introduction and first part of chapter 2 that attitudes and values towards wilderness and wildlife (broadly speaking) have changed over time, and that these changing values and attitudes have affected management strategies. In general, there has been a broadening of concern and management efforts from a concern with ensuring a steady supply of wildlifeas-a-resource for hunters, trappers and anglers, to a richer set of concerns including non-resource species, broader habitat and ecosystem scales, and welfare or well-being of individual animals. When we examined specific management plans linked to “use” of grizzly bears by wildlife viewing tourists at British Columbian and Alaskan sites, we found that these plans also attempted to address more than sustaining the number of bears present: habituation of bears is either encouraged as it reduces stress in bears, or discouraged because it reduces “wildness”, while other management concerns are phrased in terms of avoiding disturbance, displacement, fear, stress, etc. to the bears—measures which are linked much 70 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management more closely to empathetic concern with the animals’ experiences than to resource concerns over population stability. Likewise, in the two whale-watching areas examined, there are concerns with noise impacting whales’ communication and social behaviour, with tourists being “rude” or inconsiderate, and with excessively close or fast approaches and multiple boats encircling whales. Once again, these concerns are readily understood in terms of an empathetic understanding of whales as individuals with their own life projects that ought to be respected. Links between the whale watching guidelines and a resource-based conception emphasizing the continued viability of whale populations, on the other hand, are tenuous at best. But if different values lead to different management policies, then determining the most appropriate policies will require first determining in what ways we ought to value wildlife. These are normative or ethical questions, and thus this chapter turns to the philosophical and ethical literature, and in particular, to theories of wildlife, animal, and environmental ethics. My goal in this chapter is not to identify or defend a single valid, coherent, internally consistent and universally applicable theory of morals, values and ethics. Rather, I examine the major competing theories that claim to prescribe the proper way humans should interact with the non-human world (taken broadly) and attempt to follow the logic of each theory from its first principles to what behaviours it would prescribe in the specific context of non-consumptive wildlife viewing tourism. The notion that complex moral 71 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management questions can be settled by logically deducing a single answer based on a single foundational starting point may strike the reader as quixotic, and my attempts to do so as laboured. Yet this monistic notion is presented by several ethical thinkers as the appropriate way to make decisions: Regan (1983, p. 130) argues that a moral principle is one that requires all moral actors to act in accordance with it; Singer (1993, p. xi) concludes that preference utilitarianism allows us to apply one version of utilitarianism to both selfconscious and merely sentient beings, sparing us the less ideal approach of attempting to combine two versions of utilitarianism; Taylor (1986, p. 27) lists the formal conditions of a valid normative ethical system, which include generality and universal, disinterested applicability and an advocation that all moral agents ought to adopt the principles proposed; and Callicott (1990) is a vocal opponent of any attempts to replace the monistic tradition of ethics with more pluralistic approaches. This monistic assumption is most explicitly summarised by its critics: “It is widely presumed, by implication when it is not made explicit, that the ethicist’s task is to put forward and defend a single overarching principle [. . . ] and to demonstrate how it (the one correct viewpoint) guides us through all moral dilemmas to the one right solution.”(Stone, 1988, p. 143). In general, relatively few attempts have been made in the literature to apply these monistic theories to specific cases. In addition, the real life puzzles that have been addressed previously tend to be broad, and, with few exceptions, to deal with death (e.g. hunting, fishing) and captivity (e.g. agri72 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management culture, research). In this thesis, I tackle a novel context (non-consumptive wildlife-viewing tourism) where neither death nor captivity are at stake. I attempt to use a few key environmental or animal-focused applications of different ethical theories to examine what ethical quandaries remain when these two ‘big ones’ are absent, and to determine whether detailed prescriptions for management of wildlife-viewing tourism can be derived logically from broader theories applied to animal or environmental ethics. My goal in this chapter is also not to provide a full philosophical analyisis of the broader development or history of general ethical theories. I have bounded my attention to the literature on environmental and animal ethics. Determining whether the problems I examine are fundamental to the theories themselves, or whether they are ‘merely’ problems arising from poor application of the underlying theories is beyond the scope of this thesis. Nevertheless, the central point remains: While managers could use these theories to generate operative reasons (sensu Raz, 1999) for management policies, many of the auxiliary reasons required to support or oppose any given policy cannot be generated through strict logical derivation from any monistic ethical theory. A standard way of classifying ethical theories uses two dimensions. The first asks of each theory “Who matters?” In other words, who (or what) should be taken into account or considered when applying the ethical theory to a decision problem? The second asks of each theory how the interests 73 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management of those who matter are to be defined, identified, and taken into account in ethical deliberation. Anthropocentric theories answer the first question (“who matters?”) by stating that humans, and only humans, “matter.” Variation may exist between specific theories about the considerability of future humans, neonates, humans with serious brain damage, or other boundary cases. In general, however, the anthropocentric answer to this first question is that all humans and only humans need to be considered when making decisions. Non-human animals, plants, populations, habitats, landscapes, eco-systems, rocks, rivers or skies enter into ethical deliberations only when, and to the extent that, affecting these leads to ethically relevant effects on humans. Dissatisfied with the narrowness of anthropocentrism, several philosophers have attempted to broaden the scope of ethical considerability. Biocentric ethical theories extend considerability to non-human animals as individuals, while ecocentric theories include landscapes, ecological communities or evolutionary processes as entities that “matter.” As with the anthropocentric theories, variations exist between different theories under each of these umbrellas. Some biocentric theories argue that all animals ought to be considered equally with each other and with humans, while others acknowledge ethically relevant differences between different taxonomic groups and suggest some form of graded consideration. However, in some ways these biocentric theories do not form a revolutionary departure from the anthropocentric the74 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management ories: for the most part, they are concerned with individual animals, which are seen as similar to individual humans, and the only point of departure is over which of these human and non-human individuals are taken into account. The standard ‘machinery’ of human ethics is then used to determine how these interests are taken into account and how decisions are to be made. Ecocentric theories, on the other hand, attempt to extend moral consideration to non-individual entities. The Land Ethic values the stability and beauty of a mixed land community which includes humans, domesticated animals, wildlife, and the habitat they share, while a theory of natural value emphasizes “wildness”, “naturalness” and the absence of human interference. Despite their differences, both these theories have to grapple with novel issues raised by the non-individual nature of the entities to which they extend moral consideration. The individualistic “machinery” of much of western ethics, which is used in both anthropocentric and biocentric theories, may not be up to the task of considering populations, processes, or ecosystems. The second dimension used for classifying ethical theories focuses on how the theory determines what ought or ought not to be done to those entities that are morally considerable. In other words, once we have decided which entities deserve consideration, how, exactly, do we consider them? Consequentialist ethics refer to the outcomes of the action in question, and state that the action yielding the best outcome ought to be selected. Deontological ethics suggest instead that there are some basic rules of right behaviour, 75 Chapter 3. Ethicists’ efforts to inform wildlife management which ought never be violated, even if such violation may in some cases lead to a desirable outcome. In the sections below, I will treat Singer as a classic example of a biocentric, consequentialist utilitarian theory, Regan and Taylor as classic examples of biocentric deontological approaches, Leopold and Callicott as examples of an ecocentric consequentialism, and Rolston as an example of an ecocentric deontology. I will also treat briefly some anthropocentric ideas which might have application to wildlife viewing tourism (virtue ethics and enlightened self-interest.) For each classification, I will look at some previous attempts to apply the approach to specific problems (generally, relatively broad, such as sport hunting or animal agriculture), and then attempt to apply the approach to non-consumptive wildlife viewing. However, the above ethics are monistic—they assume that the way to “do” ethics is to construct a single, rational, coherent and consistent theory which will start from a basic foundational premise, and develop from these a logical argument concluding in specific prescriptions for how one ought to act in any given situation. The locus of debate, in this approach, is the initial premises: once one has established that the assumptions in one’s theory are “correct”, the rest of the theory and the prescriptions derived from it follow logically. This monistic approach has come under fire by recent pluralist and pragmatic philosophers, who argue that none of the monistic theories provide what they promise—that the real world is far too complex and multi-faceted 76 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory to be adequately described by any single theoretical framework. In a pluralist approach, theory-building exercises are taken as useful to the extent they draw attention to different aspects of the decision problem at hand, but in the final analysis, the debate must include questions of which (one, or several) ways of viewing the problem is most appropriate in context, not simply over which set of abstract premises is a priori universally true. The pragmatist tradition renounces foundational theory building as a useful approach to determining truth, arguing instead that moral answers emerge from interaction and engagement with lived experience and moral intuitions. I will conclude this chapter by applying this alternative view on how to “do” ethics to the context of wildlife viewing tourism, which will set the stage for continuing in the following chapter with an empirical study of how wildlife viewing is discussed in the societal discussions of the topic, and what moral intuitions appear to guide this discussion. 3.1 Biocentric consequentialist theory Consequentialist theories, as the name implies, focus directly on the consequences of a moral decision. This decision can, of course, consist of setting up a rule to follow. It is not necessary that a consequentialist theory require moral agents to evaluate all the consequences of each action; some formulations analyse the consequences of expecting all moral agents to follow a rule of thumb instead. 77 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory The most common form of individualistic consequentialist theory is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism starts from the notion that the point of ethics is to do as much good as possible, while doing as little bad. Hedonistic utilitarianism defines pleasure as good, and pain as bad. Hence, hedonistic utilitarianism holds that solving ethical problems consists of listing the possible courses of action, estimating how much pleasure or pain each affected party would receive under that course of action, adding up totals, and choosing the action with the biggest total. Preference satisfaction utilitarianism uses a broader definition of satisfying or frustrating preferences, to account for the observation that not everything that the individual wants or prefers is necessarily pleasurable in the hedonistic sense. Applying utilitarian ethics to animals is conceptually not revolutionary; all one has to do is include non humans in the category of “affected party,” while retaining the rest of the methodology of traditional utilitarianism. Arguments for doing so generally point out that animals (at least mature mammalian animals) are quite capable of experiencing, in their own way, pleasures and pains, and there is no valid reason to exclude these from the utilitarian calculus. A major critique of utilitarianism is that, in practice, adding up the utility and disutility of any given action or rule is, except in rare and trivial cases, virtually impossible. In theory, pleasures and pains may be somewhat more commensurate than the satisfaction and frustration of a wide range of preferences, but in practice, and especially when non-human animals with different 78 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory and poorly understood cognitive and emotional capabilities are added to the calculus, assigning numbers to the outcomes of a decision is difficult at best. 3.1.1 Singer’s hedonistic utilitarianism The most noted attempt to apply utilitarian thought to human-animal interactions was set out by Singer (1990), who argued, in brief, that there is no morally relevant difference between the pains or pleasures experienced by humans and those experienced by non-human animals, and that we therefore ought to treat non-human animals in accordance with utilitarian moral theory. In particular, after describing various horrors in modern agriculture, scientific research, and cosmetics testing, he concluded that the amounts of pain and suffering involved in the examples he describes could not possibly be outweighed by pleasures to humans accruing from these sectors, and so condemns them entirely. Two objections present themselves to this line of argument. Firstly, there is question over whether the examples he describes are in fact reflective of standard, accepted, or best-practices, or whether they selectively show the worst cases. If the examples Singer described are selectively chosen for rhetorical effect, and would be condemned as wrong by most scientists or farmers, then the condemnation based on these vignettes would not transfer to the entire industry; best-practices (or even typical practices) may not share the features condemned. Singer accepted that utilitarian thought may not necessarily prohibit killing (see, e.g., Deckers, 2009), but left that aside, as the 79 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory avowed purpose of his book was to condemn the horrors of current animal use in industrial agriculture and science. More generally, this objection illustrates the difficulty of assigning exact value to pains and pleasures. It may be obvious that the pains imposed upon animals in current industrial agriculture are not outweighed by the benefits to humans of eating meat, but how ‘good’ would agriculture need to be in order for human carnivory to be acceptable? In later works, Singer and Mason (2006, pp. 248–269) again allowed that utilitarianism may allow some forms of meat-eating (e.g. humane, extensive agriculture, hunting, “dumpster-diving,”) but emphasised that these limited defenses of meat-eating do not apply to the vast majority of what is currently available. However, the conclusion that only a vegan diet is acceptable, which would follow from a strong premise that all agriculture is intrinsically unacceptable, does not necessarily follow from the weaker premises that current forms of agriculture impose more pain on the animals than they produce benefits (or preference dissatisfaction/ satisfaction respectively) to human consumers (but see, e.g., Matheny and Chan, 2005, who argued against the “logic of the larder”—that agricultural animals would not exist if they weren’t used—by claiming that most do not, in fact, have lives worth living). Singer and Mason (2006, pp. 281–284) concluded that eating meat is, in general, not good, but also allowed that there is no need for fanatical devotion to veganism. Secondly, Singer does not show that human-human interactions are in fact governed solely and in all cases by utilitarian thinking. His argument is that, 80 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory given the relevant similarities between humans and other animals, animals ought to be considered the same way humans are when making decisions. If, in fact, acceptable behaviour amongst humans, broadly speaking, can only be explained through a complex and subtle combination of multiple ethical frameworks rather than through strict adherence to utilitarianism, then equal consideration of animals’ interests would lead to a similarly complex and multi-faceted analysis, rather than a strict following of utilitarian (or any other) theory. 3.1.2 Preference utilitarianism An alternative formulation of utilitarianism replaces the hedonistic notion of simple pleasures and pains as the “utils” that need to be identified, summed, and maximised with a broader notion of “preference satisfaction.” Singer (1993) suggested that this differs from classical utilitarianism in considering not only pleasure and pain, but more broad interests of all those affected by an action, although he also allowed that classical utilitarians may have used ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ in a broad sense that includes the satisfaction of other interests rather than as a narrowly hedonistic concept, in which case the distinction would disappear (Singer, 1993, p. 14). 81 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory 3.1.3 Applications of utilitarian ethics Aside from the applications sketched out by Singer himself (1990; 1993; 2006), hedonistic and preference-satisfaction forms of utilitarian thinking have been most prominently taken up as part of the basis for the field of animal welfare (see, e.g. Fraser, 1999; Fraser et al., 1997; Stafleu et al., 1996). This field does not, on the whole, subscribe to the idea that animals have a right to not be exploited by humans; instead, the field accepts that animal use (specifically focused on agricultural and scientific/educational use of captive animals, but also in various consumptive and non-consumptive uses of wild animals) does provide benefits to humans and will continue. Without necessarily trying to calculate a balance between these benefits and the harms to the animals thus being used, the field does attempt to determine what course of action will minimise the harms (Schuppli et al., 2004), whether by measuring stress (Jensen, 1996; Moberg, 1996) or by measuring and comparing the preferences of animals for various housing or feeding features (Dawkins, 1990). Within the environmental ethics literature, Meaton and Morrice (1996) used John Stuart Mill’s principle that only actions causing harm to others can legitimately be controlled by the state to argue that private automobile use is such an action, and further that the benefits of private automobile use do not outweigh the harms caused to others. This led to the logical conclusion that private automobile use ought to be banned, although the authours accepted that this proposition was unrealistic as an immediate goal, and would in addition be unfair to enact until adequate public transport options are in 82 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory place. They therefore recommended merely that both fiscal and managerial restrictions of automobile use are justifiable (but that complete banning may become possible at some time in the future.) List (2004) argued that the benefits (pleasures, preference satisfactions, goods) derived from sport hunting are no different in kind from those derived from subsistence hunting. Therefore, if subsistence hunting is accepted based on a utilitarian argument (and it generally is,) so should sport hunting. Luke (1997) analysed a composite “Sportsman’s Code” of hunting, and finds it paradoxical: the emphasis on quick kills, and on retrieving and using all game only makes sense if killing or causing suffering and pain are prima facia wrongs that must be both minimised and outweighed by benefits. Following the best ethical standards within hunting, therefore, implies that hunting is not ethical in the first place. The possibility that the goods produced by hunting might outweigh these prima facia wrongs was rejected, leaving (in Luke’s view) three options: embracing the paradoxical result, renouncing the Sportsman’s Code, or renouncing hunting. Deleeuw (1996) examined angling, contrasting some elements of sport fishing to those of sport hunting. While sport hunting follows a code of conduct which emphasizes a clean, quick death, in angling, the ‘playing’ of the hooked fish is valued, with more vigourous escape attempts by the fish increasing the perceived quality of the angling. Since these escape attempts are clear evidence of pain and suffering in the fish, angling requires, in addition to the justification of killing which it shares with sport hunting, a justifica83 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory tion of the intentional infliction of pain and suffering. Unable to find such a justification, Deleeuw (1996) suggested that hunters and society at large ought to reject sport fishing as an immoral activity. These examples further support the general difficulties in application discussed above by demonstrating that contradictory conclusions can be derived from the same basic premises. While Singer condemns animal agriculture on utilitarian grounds, the field of animal welfare does not, accepting that animal use will continue and focusing on mimimising the harms it does to animals. Meanwhile, List defends sport hunting while Luke rejects it, and Deleeuw counters a common perception that fish pain doesn’t ‘count’ as much as mammalian pain by arguing that angling in fact needs more justification than does hunting. 3.1.4 A utilitarian view of wildlife viewing Can we apply utilitarianism’s simple rule to the complex real-world problem of how we ought to manage wildlife tourism? The theoretical simplicity (all we have to do is add up the pleasures and pains experienced by all concerned parties, and optimize the sum) breaks down because the pleasures and pains cannot be added up in a purely logical or objective way. The problem is far too multi-dimensional for such a simplistic calculus to be workable. For instance, it is clear that the tourists derive some pleasure from engaging in wildlife viewing tours—if they did not, there would be no demand for such tours. It is also clear that the tour operators derive some benefit 84 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory from offering the tours—if they did not, there would be no supply. Given that there is, in fact, a market for wildlife viewing tours, we can assume that both the tourists and the operators benefit, and we can even quantify that benefit in monetary terms. But what of the wildlife? They may benefit indirectly, in that engaging in tourism may increase the public’s appreciation for wildlife, and indirectly lead to more environmentally-conscious behaviours in other spheres of life. This is certainly offered as one justification for encouraging wildlife viewing activities. It is not necessarily obvious that these benefits actually occur, and if they do, it is not clear whether they accrue to the individual animals (who are capable of feeling pleasure and pain, and thus morally considerable, according to utilitarian theory), or to the community of animals (which is not capable of feeling pleasure and pain, and thus cannot be included in a moral calculus of the sort suggested by utilitarian theory). More direct conservation benefits may accrue from the tour operators lobbying to protect the wilderness setting in which their operations occur and on which they rely—for example, the K’tzim-a-deen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary (subsection 2.3.1) was protected from logging operations and bear hunting largely as a result of lobbying and publicity provided by the tour operators active in the area—but again it is not clear if the benefits accrue as pleasures to individuals. On the other hand, wildlife may see human presence as a threat, which may lead to predator-avoidance behaviours. Increased predator-avoidance 85 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory behaviour in response to tourism would necessarily reduce time spent in other behaviours. If we assume that animals’ normal behaviour patterns are optimised through evolution, then any changes in behaviour pattern would be sub-optimal. Again, the causal chains are long, and it is difficult to quantify the size of the impact, but more crucially (from a strictly utilitarian perspective), it is even more indirect and difficult to quantify the extent to which these effects lead to pain and suffering in individual animals. More directly, however, it may also be that predator-avoidance behaviours are linked to the activation of the cortisol stress system. Based on analogy to human experience, it is reasonable to presume that such activation is accompanied by fear, stress, and other negative emotional or affective states, which do fit within the pleasure-and-pain framework of utilitarian theory. Preference utilitarianism faces the same problems as hedonistic utilitarianism, in terms of giving simple answers to complex questions. For our purposes, however, it does suggest that we ask what the preferences of animals would be, and whether the satisfaction of their preferences is being frustrated by tourism operations. One presumes that, all else being equal, animals would prefer to do what they in fact do in the absence of tourists: feed, rest, travel, etc. Thus we could assess changes to their behaviour, or to their use of preferred areas for these behaviours, as an indicator of whether the satisfaction of their preferences is impacted by tourism. In sum, utilitarian theory can account for some of the many impacts that have been identified as possible consequences of excessive wildlife viewing 86 3.1. Biocentric consequentialist theory tourism activities, but cannot provide a single answer to the question of how much tourism is acceptable, and how much is excessive. It is still far from clear how the pains experienced by wild animals, as indicated indirectly by activation of stress responses, are to be compared in anything resembling commensurate units to the pleasures experienced by humans, as indicated by their voluntary participation in a market transactions for viewing opportunities. Nevertheless, utilitarianism does provide a useful lens through which to view some of the issues involved. Measures of stress system activation certainly exist: feacal cortisol metabolites can be measured non-intrusively; heart rate and blood pressure could be measured in instrumented animals (and one might even be able to measure heart rate in non-instrumented animals, depending on the environment and the technical qualities of parabolic microphones). If, all else being equal, minor tweaks to the details of how viewing activities are carried out by humans have a large effect on these indicators (especially if the tweaks have negligeable effects on the human pleasures derived from the viewing, which can also be investigated through satisfaction surveys or economic value-elicitation methods), then it would follow from utilitarian thinking that we ought to conduct ourselves in such a way as to minimise the pains caused. This remains a valid insight, even if the more ambitious calculus of adding all considerations together continues to elude us. 87 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory 3.2 Biocentric deontological theory In contrast to consequentialist theories, deontological theories put the consequences of acts or rules into the background. While obviously the expectation is that in general, following rules of right action will lead to a better world, these theories hold that acting in the right way is the right thing to do, even in cases where that act leads to unfortunate conseqences. Conversely, an action that is inherently wrong under a deontological conception remains the wrong thing to do even if, in some particular context it might have positive consequences. 3.2.1 Regan’s rights ethics Regan (1983) counters Singer’s (1990) utilitarian view by pointing out that it would allow humane farming of animals combined with painless slaughter: in this case, the suffering of the animals during life would be minimised, as would the pain during slaughter, and thus the benefits accruing to humans from eating animals would outweigh the minimal pains to the animals (especially if one counts a steady food source and protection from predators and inclement weather on the benefits side of the ledger for farmed animals.) However, Regan considers that farming animals is wrong, and therefore the fact that utilitarian arguments might allow it is a deficiency of utilitarianism. What is wrong with farming, in Regan’s view, is not merely that the animals suffer, but that they are viewed as a means to an end, where that end 88 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory is the farmer’s pocket-book and the consumer’s dinner-plate. Regan starts by arguing that (some) animals, like (most) humans, are subjects of an experiential life, and that fact grants them moral considerability. He then derives an ethic from the Kantian imperative to treat others as ends-in-themselves rather than as mere means-to-an-end, and this ethic would prohibit farming (as well as scientific, educational, entertainment, product-testing, and any other animal use), regardless of how much or little suffering was involved. Specifically, Regan makes appeal to the language of rights in order to buttress and flesh out the basic argument that “we are to treat those individuals who have inherent value in ways that respect their inherent value” (Regan, 1983, p. 248). By according rights to both humans and animals, and assuming that these rights are derived from the overarching right to be treated with respect, we would prohibit any treatment of either humans or animals which violates their rights by failing to respect their inherent value. If we accept the argument that moral questions should be settled by recognising and respecting individual rights, the question becomes “what rights ought to be accorded to wildlife?” It seems obvious that the usual list of human rights (freedom of the press, of peaceable assembly, of political enfranchisement, of religion, etc.) cannot apply directly to non-humans. Whether or not the right to life applies in nature, red in tooth and claw, is debatable. Certainly it does not seem to apply as a positive right, carrying an obligation to protect deer from death-by-wolf, as this cannot possibly be squared with the similar obligation to protect wolves from death-by-lack-of89 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory deer. Regan (1983, p. 357) proposes merely that wild animals have a right to non-interference, while Taylor (1986, p. 173) proposes a similar rule of non-interference. Both argue that this right or rule applies as a negative right or rule, meaning that moral agents are obligated simply to not engage in behaviours contravening it—there is no obligation to engage in behaviours to promote or protect wild animals’ well-being. Regan (1992) and Callicott (1980) have argued that broader concerns about environmental issues are incompatible with a theory of animal rights, although Taylor (1996) and Callicott (1988) have attempted to reconcile the two. We will return to this debate under subsection 3.3.2 below. Regan (1983) emphasizes the right to be treated not as a resource, but as an end-in-oneself. If this assertion means that even treating others partially as resources is wrong, one has to consider that the vast majority of human interactions in large, anonymous urban settings could easily be painted with the same brush. While obviously there are limits, both moral and legal, to how we treat others (and these limits may be so obvious and accepted we don’t even think of them as limits), the fact remains that a large number of other individuals one interacts with on a daily basis are largely instrumental to some transaction or other, the conclusion of which is the end of the interaction. For example, any company of any size will have a department of human resources whose purpose is to consider current and prospective employees as resource. Or, if I purchase an item from a store, bar, or restaurant, I will have to admit that in most cases the cashier or server will be mostly 90 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory a means to the end of concluding the transaction. Certainly, if pressed, I will acknowledge them as an end-in-themselves, but for the purposes of our routine daily interactions, that acknowledgement is essentially irrelevant. It also seems that while this type of urban anonymity may be considered regrettable and unfortunate, it is hardly considered morally repugnant. Therefore, an honest appraisal of our human interactions suggests that we often do treat others largely instrumentally, while recognising in the background of our consciousness that they are also intrinsically valuable. 3.2.2 Taylor’s respect for nature Taylor (1986) starts from a similar premise to Regan (1983); while Regan derives moral considerability from being the subject of an experiential life, Taylor uses the term “center of a teleological life” (Taylor, 1986, p. 119), which broadens concern even wider than the animal kindom—while plants are not subjects of an experiential life, and thus are not morally considerable under Regan’s theory, they are centers of teleological lives, having a good of their own, and that good can be furthered or impacted. Although shying away from the language of moral rights due to the baggage the term carries (Taylor, 1986, pp.219–255), he argues that centers of teleological lives ought to have that teleology respected. In other words, since it makes sense to talk of things going well or poorly for a human, a non-human animal, or a plant, we ought to avoid doing things that interfere with these entities’ life-projects. Taylor’s theory is explicitly individualistic rather than holistic, 91 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory however: populations, species, ecosystems, or other assemblages do not have a good of their own that is to be respected; they are merely composed of individuals who do have such a good. Taylor (1986, p. 172–192) derives four specific rules of conduct from his premise of respecting nature: nonmaleficence, noninterference, fidelity, and restitutive justice. From the rules of nonmaleficence and noninterference, Taylor concludes that any killing or restraint of animals is immoral, thus condemning hunting, agriculture, and scientific use of animals. Taylor’s rule of fidelity prohibits any attempts to decieve a wild animal, or to abuse its trust. Taylor uses this as an additional reason to prohibit hunting and angling, where decoys, blinds, camouflage, baiting, and artificial lures are all seen as attempts to deceive an animal and encourage it to develop a trust which is then broken. Lastly, Taylor avoids the conclusion that humans are morally obligated to protect wild animals from each other, from inclement weather, or from disease by emphasising that the first three rules (nonmaleficence, noninterference, and fidelity) only imply negative duties: duties for moral agents to refrain from certain acts. Only the last rule, restitutive justice, carries a positive duty to engage in acts aiming to benefit others, and this rule only applies where others have previously been harmed by human actions. 92 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory 3.2.3 Applications of deontological ethics There are relatively few examples of attempts to apply these deontological ethical theories by deriving specific prescriptions. This is likely due to the focus on hunting, agriculture, and scientific animal use: if we accept either Regan’s or Taylor’s theories, then killing or confining animals is unacceptable. There is relatively little scope for debate or analysis, unless one adopts a more utilitarian framework where the benefits of these activities need to be considered, or a more pluralistic framework where one needs to consider whether the prima facia rights of (or duties to) animals can be overridden by other considerations. The most obvious application of rights ethics is in the call for the protection of at least some large charismatic species from hunting. Damato and Chopra (1991) argued that there is an emerging societal recognition that whales, at least, have a right to life, and that the emergence of this moral right is mirrored in the history of legal protections afforded to whales. Gillespie (2003) likewise uses the language of rights to argue for the legitimacy of policies protecting whales from being used consumptively by humans, even if such use were to be conclusively shown to be sustainable. In the context of agriculture, Rollin (2007, 2006) appeals to the notion of animals as teleological centres of life, not to condemn agriculture as a whole for violating Taylor’s (1986) rules of nonmaleficence and noninterference, but to argue that agricultural and husbandry practices can be improved, from an animal welfare standpoint, by taking this teleology into account 93 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory and ensuring domestic animals have space and opportunity to fulfill their teleogical requirements, even while accepting that these animals are being used (at least partially) as a means to an end. 3.2.4 A deontological view of wildlife viewing In the context of non-consumptive use of free-living animals, the issues of killing and confinement are absent. Regan (1983) might condemn wildlife tourism activities as treating wildlife as a means to an end, where that end is either the profits of the tour operators, or the aquisition of a “trophy photograph.” More charitable views of tourism, on the other hand, may describe tourism as treating animal as an end-in-itself, such that the delight taken in, and motivation for, the tourism is the delight of being able to glimpse the animal, as and end-in-itself, pursuing those ends, with as little interference from the tourists as possible. Taylor (1986) might also accept this view of tourism as respecting wildlife as teleological centres of life. His more specific rules regarding nonmaleficence and noninterference would lead to the questions of whether wildlife tourism constitutes a harm or an interference, or whether it constitutes a benign and respectful interaction. The ethical theories provided, however, underdetermine this question. Of particular interest to the context of wildlife tourism is Taylor’s rule of fidelity. We saw earlier (subsection 2.3.1) that habituation of wildlife is a major concern in the management of wildlife tourism. One aspect of this concern is that habituated animals may be more vulnerable to hunting in 94 3.2. Biocentric deontological theory areas adjacent to wildlife viewing areas, as their natural wariness of humans is lost. This would be a clear violation of Taylor’s duty “not to break a trust that a wild animal places in us (as shown by its behaviour) [. . . , and] to uphold an animals’ expectations, which it has formed on the basis of one’s past action with it” (Taylor, 1986, p. 179). This does not, of course, necessarily say that there is anything wrong with wildlife viewing activities that lead to habituation if there is no hunting pressure within the expected range of the individual animals being viewed. It is less clear what, if any, specific presciptions can be derived from Regan’s rights-based theory. Beyond the right to life, and to non-interference, are there other rights that apply to wild animals? Regan does acknowledge that non-human animals, due to undeniable differences, may not have exactly the same rights as humans. Specifically (as mentioned earlier), the rights to vote, to assemble peaceably, to freedom of expression and of religion, clearly do not apply to non-humans. It is less clear whether, for instance, the right to privacy applies. If it does, then the concerns we will see in the next chapter about behaving like “paparazzi” or violating the privacy of dolphins (section 4.4.3) find a basis in this ethical theory. If the right to privacy (like the rights to vote) does not apply to non-human animals, then these concerns may not be valid. While not entirely determined by the fundamental premise of respecting animals as ends-in-themselves, I am inclined to suspect that most wild animals’ ends do not necessarily include an expectation of privacy; the worst excesses of paparazzi-like harassment 95 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory would still be deprecated by the rights view as a violation of a right to noninterfence, while mere privacy-violation done from a distance, using telephoto lenses or remote microphones, would not constitute interference. The theory provides scant guidance, however, regarding how one would determine what distance constitutes the threshold between the two cases. 3.3 Ecocentric consequentialist theory Attempts to extend consequentialist ethical theories to entities other than individuals will, perforce, need some other formulation of consequentialism than utilitarianism. Non-individual entities (whether human, non-human, or mixed communities, populations, nations, ecosystems, or something else) clearly do not have pleasures, pains, or preferences. However, if these assemblages (or rather, features of these assemblages, such as their integrity or stability) have value, and if this value is morally considerable, then we ought to act in ways that have the consequence of enhancing, rather than destroying, this value. 3.3.1 The Land ethic The ethics behind conservation biology and modern wildlife management can be traced back to the writings of Aldo Leopold in the 1940s (Leopold, 1949). Leopold emphasized the communitarian aspects of ethics, describing both the cooperation and competition in communities: 96 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in that community, but his ethics prompt him also to co-operate (perhaps in order that there might be a place to compete for). (Leopold, 1949) Leopold saw his land-ethic not as a revolutionary new idea, but merely as a small evolution in ethics, which simply includes a few more entities (namely, soil, water, plants and animals) in the community within which we compete and co-operate. This focus on the enlarged moral community leads to the oft-cited dictum A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. (Leopold, 1949) 3.3.2 J. Baird Callicott Leopold’s land ethic has more recently been taken up by J. Baird Callicott’s attempts to formalise the land ethic as a complete and monistic ethical theory. The holistic communitarianism inherent in Leopold’s dictum to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the land community implies that the rights of individual members (whether human, livestock, or wildlife) are overridden by community interests. In a much-quoted, and since-regretted paper, Callicott (1980) argued that while animal ethics (whether Singer’s utilitarianism or Regan’s rights-based view) and environmental ethics (specifically, 97 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory Leopold’s land ethic) are superficially similar in that they argue for an extension of ethical thought to cover human-animal interactions, they are essentially incompatible, being based on very different metaphysical and metaethical foundations. The individualistic ethics promoted by Singer (1990) and Regan (1983) are based on an atomistic reductionism, where decisions about right action are reduced to an analysis of their effects on individuals. In Singer’s utilitarianism, the individual effects are summed; in Regan’s rights ethic, some entities are protected against some classes of intrusion. In either case, however, it is the individual who has intrinsic value, whose utility is counted, who bears rights. The Land Ethic, however, is based on a holistic communitarianism, where the good of the community is considered independently of, and, in Callicott (1988), taken to override, the effects of an action on individuals composing that community. These different metaphysical and meta-ethical foundations lead to different ethical frameworks and often conflicting prescriptions. Thus, for instance, we have seen that the rights view (at least, as interpreted by Regan (1983)) categorically prohibits an ominvorous diet: nonhuman animals have intrinsic value, this value ought to be respected by treating individuals as ends-in-themselves, and eating an animal treats it as a means-to-an-end. Utilitarian theory might be more lenient in prohibiting omnivory only when the pleasures derived from a varied diet outweigh, 98 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory considering human and animal interests alike, the sufferings imposed upon livestock or wild game. The land ethic, on the other hand, if followed as strictly as Callicott (1988) does, would ignore arguments based on individual rights, preferences, or sufferings. What is important, in terms of this strict land ethic, is the good of the whole community. And it is possible, or even likely, that a mixed landscape of both plant and animal agriculture will be more beautiful, stable, and integrated, by coming closer to a “natural” closed-loop ecosystem, than one from which livestock have been removed entirely. It is also the case, according to Leopold (1949), that humans have, for better or for worse, removed or reduced predator populations in many places. Having had that impact on the community, it is now better for humans to take over the niche through sport hunting than to leave it vacant12 allowing predator populations to increase to ugly, unstable, integrity-threatening levels. Therefore, Callicott (1988) concludes, the land ethic not only allows omnivory, it in fact prescribes it. Given Callicott’s monistic leanings, the conclusion from analysing two different ethical theories with different metaphysical bases and contradictory conclusions can only be that one theory is wrong and must be discarded, in its entirety. Therefore, utilitarian and rights theories are wrong, and communitarian land ethics are right, whether it is humans, pets, livestock or wildlife that are at issue. Therefore, Callicott (1988) comes 12 Note, of course, that it may be better yet to re-introduce predator populations, where possible. 99 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory to the extreme conclusion that an ethic is only “environmental” to the extent that it is misanthropic and prescribes the sacrifice of individuals (animal or human) for the good of the environment. In more recent work, Callicott has retreated from the intentionally extreme and provocative stance laid out in Callicott (1988), and has argued following Leopold’s own wording that the Land Ethic is an accretion to, rather than a replacement for, other ethics. Under this formulation, Callicott (1999b) states that moral obligations stem from community co-membership, where different communities give rise to different obligations. In order to arbritrate between conflicting obligations thus produced, Callicott defines two “second-order principles”, the first of which prioritises more intimate and venerable communities, and the second of which overrides the first and prioritises obligations to protect stronger as opposed to weaker interests. These priorities allow Callicott to counter critiques of his earlier paper. The first critique is that the ethic is eco-fascist: by elevating community stability above considerations of the welfare of individuals, and accepting that most threats to the stability and integrity of the land community can be traced to human over-population, we would conclude that we are required to sacrifice some large proportion of human individuals to protect the land community. Callicott escapes this charge by claiming that the human community is more intimate and venerable than the land community, and thus basic human rights are not simply trumped and made irrelevant by environmental issues. This, taken on its own, however, opens the revised theory 100 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory to charges of toothlessness: by claiming that the human community trumps the ecosystemic one, we are never required to make any sacrifices to safeguard the environment. The second principle avoids this by allowing stronger environmental claims to require sacrifice of weaker human ones. However, Callicott never provides guidance as to how one objectively assesses either the intimacy and venerability of a community, or the strength of an interest. 3.3.3 The mixed community Midgley (1983) pointed out that a simple picture of nested communities is a drastic oversimplification, and that a truer picture would have shifting, overlapping communities where it is far from clear which is “closer to the moral heartwood.” Also, the obligations and duties generated by those communities are generally incommensurable, overlapping, and impossible to order in a simple way based on “importance.” In some cases (especially domestic animals and pets,) it is clear that animals are dependents in a relationship which does engender duties of care, and that the closeness of this relationship may well generate duties that override duties to distant humans. It is not clear how a Leopoldian land community would fit into this type of scheme, however. 101 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory 3.3.4 Applications of communitarian ethics As with the previous ethical theories covered, farming domesticated animals and hunting wildlife are the more commonly considered practical applications. Anthony (2003) and Lund et al. (2004) built on the notion that ethical obligations stem from community co-membership and reconceptualised organic agriculture as a partnership between the farmer and the farm animals. This view of agriculture departs from a traditional ecosystem-functioning view, and allows for the discussion of other obligations—brought about by the contractual nature of the partnership—that do not find an expression in the ecosystemic view of the farm. List (1997) defends hunting in view of Leopold’s land ethic, although this defense inserts a middle layer of ethical rules or community standards (similar to the Sportsman’s Code discussed earlier by Luke (1997)), where the manner in which hunting is conducted is the “thing” evaluated in light of the Leopoldian dictum, while individual acts by individual hunters are evaluated in light of this middle-layer ethic. 3.3.5 A communitarian view of wildlife viewing We will turn now once again to the question of how this ethic applies with respect to wildlife tourism. According to Callicott, our moral duties and obligations towards wildlife in non-consumptive recreation situations would derive from our co-membership in a community. But what community? How 102 3.3. Ecocentric consequentialist theory should it be described? What duties and obligations does it engender? Neither Callicott’s basic theory of ethical sentiment based on community membership, nor his two second-order principles for prioritising competing duties and obligations, offers much guidance. On the one hand, humans and wildlife broadly speaking belong to the land community, so the Leopoldian dictum of preserving the beauty, integrity and stability of the community should apply. On the other hand, the description of the land community in terms of energy flows from stomach to stomach appears to not be the most appropriate way to describe our relations with the particular wild animals in this particular context. However, even if energy flows and feeding relationships do not really describe the tourist-wildlife interaction particularly well, we can still pay attention to the Leopoldian dictum of preserving the integrity, beauty and stability of the land community. In this case, the integrity and stability, at least, might be affected if tourism activities lead to unsustainable changes in the wildlife population’s dynamics, and this might be indicated by measuring population parameters such as feeding efficiency, body condition scores and reproductive success. If these measures are difficult to measure and, due to their long-term integrative nature, difficult to correlate to short-term human disturbances, then behavioural or physiological measures of stress might be used as proxies. However, unlike the utilitarian ethics detailed earlier, these measures would only be relevant to the extent that they indicate long term effects on the population parameters, rather than being relevant directly because they 103 3.4. Ecocentric deontological theory indicate effects on the individuals. It is less clear what preserving the beauty of the land community might entail. It seems a rather broad category, into which almost any human preference could be slotted. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if some beholders find beauty in wild, skittish animals, while others find beauty in animals that are more easily observed, it is not clear how one would go about preserving the beauty of the wildlife viewing system. 3.4 Ecocentric deontological theory Like the ecocentric consequentialist theories above, ecocentric deontological theories see value in assemblages greater than the individual. The consequentialist theories interpret this value in terms of a (theoretically, if not in practice) measurable quantity (such as stability or integrity) that can be increased or decreased. Deontological theories use a more abstract formulation (wildness, natural value) that can be respected or disrespected. 3.4.1 Wilderness values Rolston (1994a, p. 109) argues for a distinction between domesticated and wild, free-living animals. Domesticating animals generates a duty to be “humane.” However, in taking animals into our care and generating that duty, we have also taken away the wildness of the animals (see also Klaver et al., 2002, where the process of de-domesticating animals in ecological restoration 104 3.4. Ecocentric deontological theory is considered). Rolston sees value in this wildness; a value that is neither explained by nor overridden by the notion of individual rights: We might at first think that there are “rights” behind each of the pairs of eyes that we confront. But that is not so; what is there is a fierce “wildness.” The value of that is indisputable, even though it is a value that is not carried adequately by the concept of rights. There is an independent integrity in the wild life, and humans ought not to violate this without justification. Rolston (1994a, p. 110) Rolston (1994a) then details several case studies where park management (specifically, Yellowstone National Park) refused to intervene to either rescue or euthanise suffering wildlife (where the cause of suffering was “natural,”) where they did euthanise road-injured animals (because the cause of suffering was anthropogenic,) and where they rescued individuals of a small and endangered population (because the value of maintaining the population outweighed the value of respecting wild nature.) In these cases, he concludes that not only is there no duty to act in a humane way towards wildlife, there is a duty to let nature run its course, even if such hands-off management clearly involves suffering: [T]he ethic of compassion must be set in a larger context, recognizing the function of pain in the wild. While intrinsic pain is a bad thing whether in humans or in sheep, pain in ecosystems is instrumental pain, through which the sheep are naturally selected Rolston (1994a, p. 112). for a more satisfactory adaptive fit.” 105 3.4. Ecocentric deontological theory 3.4.2 Applications of ecocentric deontology The ethic of respecting that which is natural shows up, again, in the discussion of whether hunting is a moral or immoral activity. Hettinger (1994) points out that, as formulated, Rolston’s ethic gives more protection to plants than to animals: Rolston’s theory includes a strong consequentialist principle that must be satisfied before one can take plant life [. . . ], his principles protecting animals are weaker deontological ones, requiring only that we act in the right sort of way and for the right reasons. (Hettinger, 1994, p. 8) While suggesting that the consequentialist non-loss of goods principle be extended to cover animals as well, Hettinger does not find that this extension prohibits hunting: “When based on a desire to participate in carnivorous predation (when that desire is nature respecting), hunting and meat eating do conserve value while causing the least harm necessary to achieve this legitimate goal.” (Hettinger, 1994, p. 20). Moriarty and Woods (1997) counter this defense of hunting by arguing that, in light of the numerous laws and regulations surrounding hunting, the technology used by modern sport hunters, and the fact the meat is generally transported out of “nature” and into the hunter’s home for cooking and consumption, human hunting and natural predation differ in morally significant ways. Since hunting as currently practiced is a cultural rather than natural activity, Moriarty and Woods (1997) conclude that they can value natural predation while condemning hunting without commiting an inconsistency. 106 3.4. Ecocentric deontological theory Loftin (1985) discussed the medical treatment of injured wild animals. Following from preferred ethical principles placing the locus of value at the level of the population, rather than that of the individual, he concluded that wildlife hospitals are based on biological illiteracy, and that “[w]hile it is not wrong to minister to wildlife, it is not right either [. . . ] The genuine concern of those who doctor to wild animals should be channeled in to more constructive directions.” (Loftin, 1985, p. 231). On the other hand, if it is legitimate to extend rights not only to individual animals, but to populations, species, and ‘nature’, then it is also legitimate to extend rights not only to individual humans, but also to groups and cultures. Aaltola and Oksanen (2002) consider the rights of a minority culture to continue their tradition of hunting the spring migration of waterbirds, while Hawkins (2001) consider the rights of an indigenous culture to revive a cultural tradition of whaling. In neither case, however, are the cultural or group rights of humans found to be sufficient justification for overriding the need for international accords to protect wildlife populations from exploitation. The distinction between the ‘natural’ (which is valued) and the ‘cultural’ (which is not) is brought into focus when degraded environments are restored or rehabilitated. The question there is whether these restored environments are natural or human artefacts (see, e.g., Cowell, 1993; Cronon, 1995; Katz, 1992; Michael, 2001; Westra, 2001). Similarly, Krakoff (2003) argued that technological “improvements” to wilderness areas (e.g. roads, trails, wildlife 107 3.4. Ecocentric deontological theory viewing platforms and boardwalks), while making it easier for more people to experience some types of interaction with nature, reduce the value of wilderness and make impossible some other (and truer) types of interaction. 3.4.3 An ecocentric deontological view of wildlife viewing Rolston (1994a) does mention non-consumptive wildlife use, but only to explain that wildlife viewed in the wild is more interesting, pleasing, and valued than wildlife viewed in zoos, art, or nature programs on television, lending intuitive support to his theory of value in ‘wildness’. Again, we are on our own in trying to interpret what this ethical principle might have to say about how to conduct non-consumptive wildlife interactions. Managing for habituation could be seen as a first step on the road of domestication and taming, and if we are to respect the wildness of wildlife, would thus be undesirable. Whether stressing animals through viewing is an anthropogenic stress that should be minimised through management, or a natural response to life events that should be celebrated is unclear. Perhaps it is both, and we should try to conduct viewing activities in such a way that minimises anthropogenic stress, yet should not encourage the wildlife to “get used to” such activities. If we follow Krakoff (2003) in valuing natural areas without infrastructure, we would prefer wildlife viewing areas such as the Khutzeymateen, with no permanent facilities, over ones such as MacNeil or Brooks River, with their 108 3.5. Anthropocentric theory campgrounds, trails, and viewing platforms. It is unclear whether this idea amounts to a universalisable principle, however. Finding value in areas that lack infrastructure may mean that we ought to retain some areas without development; it does not necessarily follow from this that no areas should be developed. 3.5 3.5.1 Anthropocentric theory Virtue ethics A further line of ethical thought bases moral acceptability not on the consequences for those affected, nor on according rights to those affected, but on looking at the motivations of the actor. As long as actions are taken for virtuous reasons, those actions would gain approval, regardless of their actual effects. Olsen (2003), for instance, defended sport fishing against the charge that it is a sadistic activity, on the grounds that inflicting pain on fish may happen, but it is not the intention of the angler to inflict such pain. Several authors have characterised Leopold’s land ethic as a virtue ethic (Cafaro, 2001; Frasz, 2009; List, 2005), focusing on Leopold’s passages about the benefits of outdoor leisure in terms of cultivating the proper attitude towards nature. Similarly, List (1997) defended hunting (and particularly, Aldo Leopold’s advocacy of hunting) as a promotion and manifestation of the virtues of sportsmanlike conduct, woodcraft, and connection to the land; the actual impacts of hunting on wildlife as individuals or populations is 109 3.5. Anthropocentric theory considered secondary. Pollan (2006) described his decision to learn to hunt as an extension of his quest for a connection to the source of his food—the fact that such a connection would likely result in demand for more humane treatment of domesticated animals is a happy corollary, but does not seem to be the main motivating force behing Pollan’s quest. Like the rights ethic covered earlier, a virtue ethic is non-consequentialist. This makes developing indicators (i.e., measuring the consequences of alternative management strategies) difficult in the context of this ethic. However, some tourists could be characterised as trophy-chasers, concerned mostly with snapping a photograph of rarer or more inaccesible species, while others could be characterised as nature students, keenly interested in and delighting in learning about both the details and life projects of the targetted species, and about the whole system in which the target animal lives. If these different views of the tourist lead to different level of moral approbation of the viewing activities, then it would seem legitimate for management to attempt to foster the latter attitude and/or discourage the former. 3.5.2 Enlightened self-interest Lastly, we might see wildlife tourism management simply as a matter of enlightened self-interest: we want the tourism operations to be sustainable, so we should manage them in a way that protects the quality of the viewing experience. This would suggest that the effects wildlife viewing might have on the wildlife would be primarily of concern to the extent that they lead 110 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories to the wildlife becoming either scarcer or more difficult to view. The former concern would lead to the use of various population measures, while the latter would lead to investigation of either spatial or temporal avoidance of areas where viewing is conducted. Under this conception, habituation of animals to tourist presence might be a desirable effect of management policies (as it might be under a stress-and-fear conception of the problem, but would not be under a preserving-wildness conception.) On the other hand, habituation might also be an undesirable outcome, if and where it is the wild wariness of un-habituated animals that draws tourists to an area. 3.6 Pluralist and pragmatic theories Despite their differences, the theories covered above are all monistic in nature. Stone (1987) offers a critique of the monistic approach and the deterministic promise of many traditional ethical theories. He points out that not only does ethics, and especially environmental or animal ethics, need to deal with dramatically different types of entity (individuals vs. assemblages, humans vs. non-humans,) it also deals with various different tasks (deciding on a course of action, evaluating past event, judging human character,) and there doesn’t seem to be a strong reason to expect that these varying tasks and contexts would best be served by attempting to interpret everything in terms of a single theoretical construct identifying a single locus of value and a single method for ‘doing’ ethics. Instead, Stone (1987) proposes an analogy to 111 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories mapping: different maps may draw attention to different features of the landscape (topography, soils, vegetation, political boundaries, cultural features,) without a need for any one map to be ‘correct’ to the exclusion of others. Which map is the most appropriate for a given task is determined based on the task, rather than on a priori theory. Stone (1987) also takes exception to the (often implied) promise that monistic ethics is deterministic: once the fundamental premise is accepted, there will be, for any given problem, one correct solution. Instead, he proposes that there may be various different ‘moods’ indicating a more subtle gradation of better or worse decisions or outcomes. The analogy used here is that legal injunctions of the form ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and ‘Thou shalt not park here’ (Stone, 1987, p. 158) may share a superficial similarity in form, but that the attached penalties make clear that one is made in a much more severe mood than the other. However, for ethical quandaries, Stone proposes only three ‘moods’: obligatory, permitted, and prohibited. To these, we can add the mood of ‘supererogatory’ for actions which are morally laudable, and to be encouraged, but are not morally required (Michael, 1996; Raz, 1999). We will see later (subsection 4.4.2) a case in which this mood of ‘laudable-but-not-obligatory’ is suggested as appropriate for wildlife viewing guidelines, and where the courts are criticised for taking guidelines intended in that mood and interpreting them as legally mandatory. Stone’s pluralism has been debated. Callicott (1990) describes two versions of post-modernism, the one (“constructive post-modernism”) being a 112 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories mere place holder to signify that our previous metaphysical world view has been found lacking, but we have yet to develop the next one, so can’t name it in more detail. This, Callicott sees as his project, and an appropriate one for philosophers to tackle. The other (“deconstructive post-modernism”) holds that there is to be no new comprehensive world view, and Callicott (1990) criticises Stone’s pluralism as deconstructive in this sense. Callicott (1999a) also differentiates between pluralism at the level of moral theory, which he rejects, and pluralism at the level of moral principles, which he embraces (see also Wenz (1993) who elaborates on this distinction). Callicott also differentiates between the intra-personal moral pluralism Stone describes, where each actor chooses from amongst a “grab-bag” of moral theories the one that seems appropriate at the time, and an inter-personal moral pluralism, where each actor remains committed to a preferred moral theory, but these commitments can be debated in a public democratic forum when it comes time to implement social policies. The major criticism of theory-level and intra-personal moral pluralism is that it requires the actor to hold mutually inconsistent notions of what is right and good. This, it is implied, is necessarily a bad thing, and would further allow an unscrupulous actor to pick that theory that best justifies what the actor wants to do, rather than using the theories to determine what the actor ought to do—although Callicott (1999a, p. 502) also admits that this grab-bag would “afford pluralists of good will a wider range of opportunities for performing virtuous actions.” In response to these criticisms, Stone (1988, p. 145), for instance, argues that 113 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories “monism’s ambitions, to unify all ethics within a single framework capable of yielding the one right answer to all our quandaries, are simply quixotic.” Instead, Stone (1988, p. 148) suggests that “moral thought is a service when it is populating and clarifying the range of morally creditable alternatives.” Likewise, Varner (1991, p. 179) argues that “to insist on giving a monist account of what are distinct and incommensurable moral realms is not parsimony but dogmatism.” Another alternative to monistic ethical approaches is the pragmatic approach advocated by Minteer (1998); Minteer and Manning (1999); Minteer et al. (2004) and Light (2002); Light and De-Shalit (2003); Light and Katz (1996) as an application of the American Pragmatist philosophical tradition advanced by Dewey and others. Unlike Stone’s pluralism, which retains some foundational beliefs or assumptions as intuitive starting points (while rejecting that there is only one such belief) and occupies itself with discovering what realms and contexts the various different foundational beliefs can be applied to, the pragmatic approach rejects the entire notion that there are intuitively obvious bedrock principles from which truth can be derived or deduced. Instead, the pragmatic tradition holds that truth emerges from lived experience in a recursive process, and that usefulness in making sense of the world is a better measure of conclusions than absolute truth. Under this conception, moral quandaries would be approached by first examining the way in which the questions emerge, and the ways in which they are discussed or 114 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories debated13 ; abstract moral principles may be drawn in to help make sense of these discussions or debates, but would not be treated as a framework from which a single correct answer would emerge. As a last theme under the pluralist and pragmatic heading, Norton (1991) proposes a ‘convergence hypothesis’ (more recently discussed in a collection of papers edited by Minteer (2009)), namely that in many real ethical quandaries, philosophers starting from different monistic foundations nevertheless come to the same conclusions about what we ought to do in practice. Light (2004) proposes that in these cases, we employ what he initially termed a ‘metaphilosophical environmental pragmatism’ but, deciding that was too unwieldy a term, changed to ‘methodological environmental pragmatism’ (Light, 2004, p.121). This approach holds that, in those cases where different foundational beliefs converge on the same conclusion, philosophers should argue for that conclusion based on whatever foundational beliefs are most likely to resonate with the public or with policy makers, even if it is not their preferred personal foundational belief. This, however, appears to be more of a rhetorical suggestion for use in those cases where it is sufficiently obvious what the right course of action is that even monistic ethicists will find a way to derive it from their preferred first principles, as no philosopher wants to advocate an ethical theory that leads to abhorrent conclusions. In 13 Recent research in moral psychology may form an alternate starting point for such enquiry. See, e.g., Haidt (2001); Hauser (2008); Kazez (2010). 115 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories cases where it is less clear what the best course of action is, this suggestion offers relatively little guidance for analysis. 3.6.1 Applications of pluralistic or pragmatic ethics A pluralistic analogy to animal welfare is provided by Fraser (1995) who describes “safety” as a similarly complex, multidimensional problem, yet one where we are quite capable of making intelligent decisions about increasing safety, without getting bogged down in abstract debates about unifying theories of what “safety” is. While it may be impossible to quantify “safety” as a single number, and while it may be impossible to determine whether a building with a good sprinkler system but insufficient fire escapes is “safer” than another building with easy exit routes, but poor warning and suppression systems, we do not consider these problems to mean that safety inspectors cannot contribute usefully. They can, and do, tell us that the first building would be improved by adding escape routes while the latter can be improved by installing alarms and sprinklers. Similarly, whether in the agricultural systems considered by Fraser (1995) or the tourism considered here, it may be relatively easy to identify ways to improve along a number of dimensions, without having an unambiguous single measure of how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things are. Klaver et al. (2002) and Swart (2005) used a pluralistic framework to attempt to differentiate between duties to wild and domesticated animals. Swart (2005) found existing theories inadequate to explain why there should 116 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories be a duty of care to domesticated animals, where no such duty exists with respect to wild animals. In particular, he argued that there is a duty of what he terms ‘non-specific’ care towards wild animals; this care is generally directed at the population or ecosystem, and may include both restricting hunting as well as allowing hunting in order to prevent starvation due to overpopulation. This type of care, however, does not prevent ‘natural’ suffering. The distinction between the types of care owed hinges in Swart’s analysis on the different types of relationships between the animal and the humans giving the care, but there is no real unifying principle available from which the different forms of duty-of-care can be derived. Klaver et al. (2002), on the other hand, discusses the de-domestication of animals in the context of ecological restoration. Here, the duty of care to the domesticated animals exists, but is essentially withdrawn as the animals are re-introduced to the wild. On the one hand, this would violate either a contractarian obligation to domestic animals or a principle of fidelity requiring us to remain true to the animals’ expectations of us. It would also involve some avoidable pain and suffering to the animals. On the other hand, in the long term, it would contribute to creating, if not a fully and ‘authentically’ natural ecosystem, at least a self-perpetuating, sustainable, and biodiverse one, thus increasing natural value. None of the individual theories drawn on in their analysis, however, was able to make firm prescriptions for how to treat animals as they are moved from one communitarian circle to another, and Klaver et al. (2002) concluded that they are unable to provide any kind of “ethical hand117 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories book” for how to act in novel situations, but intend only to reflect on the frameworks within which one might be able to discuss which principles apply to such a situation. Loftin (1992) examined the collecting of wild animals for scientific purposes, starting from a premise that both the utilitarian animal liberation ethic and the Leopoldian land ethic are initially appealing, and attempting to follow Mary Anne Warren’s attempts to reconcile the two. This effort is in vain, as he concludes that “We might say, charitably, that [Warren’s] theory underdetermines the decisions that we need to make. It is more accurate to say, frankly, that we do not get any guidance at all.” (Loftin, 1992, p. 261). Having failed to derive from ethical theory any criteria for determining when scientific collecting is or is not justified, Loftin then proceeds to propose his own, presumably based on his considered ethical intuitions as an ornithologist, and including considerations of the importance of the knowledge gained, the impossibility of gaining it without killing a specimen, the long-term impacts of the killing on the population, and a requirement for a quick and painless death of the individual. 3.6.2 A pluralistic view of wildlife viewing There may be multiple ways in which wildlife viewing tourism could be improved (e.g., limiting the number of tourists and making sure the animals have escape options, if they choose not to be viewed; monitoring fear and stress indicators, and attempting to minimize them; avoiding types of tourism 118 3.6. Pluralist and pragmatic theories that affect population parameters such as feeding efficiency, body condition, and reproductive output; ensuring that tourism operations are sustainable over the long term; or encouraging more “ecological” tourist attitudes.) Where a management alternative affects primarily one of these dimensions, the better alternative can be chosen, without any need to appeal to unifying moral theories. Where a management choice sets up a trade-off between incommensurate dimensions, we need to resolve the trade-off, and arguing over which unifying moral theory to use generally doesn’t help. It may be impossible to quantify how “good” the management of wildlife tourism is in a particular setting, and it may be impossible to compare two different settings. It is, however, both possible and more useful to suggest a variety of indicators that can be monitored to see if further improvements in the management within each setting are possible and appropriate. In keeping with the pragmatist argument, however, we should start a search for ethics in a given context by interacting with lived experience of that context, and examine how people actually conceptualise the various possible values, duties, obligations, rights, or harms that may be relevant. The following chapter will therefore perform a content analysis of media reporting regarding wildlife tourism, in order to determine whether any or all of the factors identified in this chapter seem reasonable and acceptable as actual justifications for restrictions on the human liberties to pursue wildlife tourism in any intensity and manner desired. 119 3.7. Need to interact with moral intuitions 3.7 Need to interact with moral intuitions I have argued that monistic approaches to ethics start by choosing a single, unifying theory as “correct,” and rejecting competing theories as “flawed.” The context in which a specific decision is to be made is then described in terms of the features the chosen theory considers relevant. In practice, however, the details of this description hinge on myriad of other assumptions and values that are not given by the theory’s starting premises. Thus, for example, if we choose an ethical theory focusing on individual rights, we might describe wildlife affected by viewing tourism as individuals with their own life projects, whose rights may be infringed upon by the operation of the tourism activities. In detail, however, the decision of which rights are relevant and reasonable to consider depend not solely on the decision to use a rights theory, but on one’s more specific views of the life experiences of wild animals. On the other hand, if one chooses an ethical theory based on community membership and on valuing ecological processes, then the wildlife would be described as members of a population, species, ecosystem, etc., where the continued operation of the ecological relationships within that community may be altered by tourism activities. Again, however, in the details, we run into questions not well addressed by the broad strokes of the theory: Which features of the community are most important (valued)? Is a skittish wildlife-hunter community better or worse than a habituated wildlife-photographer community? In these and the other examples detailed, 120 3.7. Need to interact with moral intuitions the promised simplicity of monistic approaches breaks down once the details of a specific decision problem are analysed. On the other hand, pluralistic and pragmatic approaches to ethics pay more attention to context. Stone’s pluralism focusses on which of the multiple acceptable foundations apply in a given context, while a Deweyan pragmatic approach rejects foundationalism and focuses on how ethical or moral quandaries arise in their contexts, emphasizing moral intuitions rather than abstract theories. The details of the context or the moral intuitions that lead to identification of a problem may suggest relevance for one or more ethical theories, which are pressed into service as ways to assist in describing the context and the details relevant to the decision. Again, the details are messy, but under these approaches, the messiness can be dealt with through informed and democratic discussion and debate, so that the resulting conclusions are in line with actual lived experience of the society in which the decision is taking place, and is justified by reasons that the members of the society find compelling enough to accept any restrictions on their behaviour. This approach would find aspects of wildlife viewing tourism that may fit within each of the theories detailed in this chapter, without forcing all details to fit within a single one. It would accept that there might be community co-membership engendering specific obligations (though it may remain to be discussed exactly how the community ought to be conceptualised, and exactly what duties it engenders;) that wildlife are individuals with life projects that ought not unduly be interfered with (though the ex121 3.7. Need to interact with moral intuitions act level of interference at which “unduly” comes into effect remains to be debated;) that wild animals are capable of feeling fear, stress, and pain, and that all else being equal, these ought to be minimised (yet without stating a priori that they ought to be eliminated;) that wilderness and wildness has value that ought to be preserved, at least in some contexts and to some extent (again, leaving open for debate the question of which contexts should be kept wilder and which could/should be more domesticated or habituated;) and that tourism operations should be sustainable and provide for a desirable tourist experience. The pragmatic approach, then, calls for extensive interaction with the real lived experience of society as a way to ground the details of its prescriptions. I make my contribution in the next chapter, by analysing the content of daily and periodical media writings related to wildlife viewing tourism, with a view to determining how wild animals, and specifically their relationships with wildlife tourists, are described, and how these descriptions reflect the various ethical themes described in this chapter. 122 Chapter 4 Value expressions in public discourse In the previous chapter, I examined various ethical theories and frameworks, and their prescriptions for the context of non-consumptive wildlife viewing tourism. There are valid arguments in favour of treating at least some nonhuman animals as rights-holders; there are valid arguments in favour of considering the total net utility (pleasure minus pain) of human and non-human parties as a guide to determining the proper course of action; there are valid arguments for treating non-human nature as a whole as either a rights-holder or an entity with utilities to consider; and there are valid arguments for treating non-human nature as a system where the largely individualistic ethical theories used for decisions affecting humans may not apply, and entirely new principles are needed. What seems to be lacking is any objective way of determining which of these abstract principles is most relevant to a specific, detailed context, or of determining how best to describe the details of such a context in a manner relevant to one or more of the ethical theories. In this chapter, I follow the suggestion made by ethicists in section 3.6, that ethical 123 Chapter 4. Value expressions in public discourse analysis may best guide real decision-making by engaging more closely with societally held values, rather than concerning itself solely with theory. Previous work using both open-ended interviews and structured surveys (summarized below) has attempted to describe and characterise societal values, both in general and with particular respect to environmental issues. Structured questionnaires (e.g. Kellert, 1996) reveal strong support for a wide variety of value orientations towards the non-human world, coupled with support for prescriptions regarding how we ought to behave with regard to the environment in general, or to specific parts of it. Where open-ended interviews are used (e.g. Bellah et al., 1985; Kempton et al., 1995), studies consistently find a wider range of both values and prescriptive statements existing in the consciousness of individuals than would be predicted from any single theorist’s attempts to describe a coherent and internally consistent moral framework. An examination of societal values and understandings of wildlife-viewing tourism specifically, which is the aim of this chapter, does not appear in the previous literature. After considering some weaknesses of both survey and interview methods (specifically, the difficulty of framing the questions in such a way to avoid biasing the answers,) I chose to examine societally held values as expressed in pre-existing writings culled from the last five years of Canadian newspapers and periodicals. In agreement with previous work on characterizing social values, I find that these lay writings are rich both in morally relevant descriptions of the details of what the context is, and in specific values or 124 Chapter 4. Value expressions in public discourse concerns about how the context ought (or ought not) to be managed. These lay expressions of moral concern, however, generally do not form the comprehensive, internally consistent, and logically coherent overall ethical theories or world-views which the ethical literature calls for and expects to find. In other words, we find a rich variety of very specific statements about how wildlife is seen (e.g., as a resource, as anthropomorphised individuals, or, contrastingly, as separate and different from humans, as totemic14 , spiritual symbols, or as a hazard and danger towards humans,) as well as specific statements about how we ought to conduct ourselves in terms of wildlife tourism (either as individual tourists, or in terms of how the industry ought to be managed.) However, the links between the two types of statement are generally implicit rather than explicitly stated, and it is not uncommon that entirely contradictory prescriptions are derived from the same description of wildlife, or that similar prescriptions are derived from entirely contradictory descriptions. 14 It is often unclear exactly what is meant by according animals a totemic status in these excerpts; the term originates from the use of totem animals as indicators of clans or like affiliations among some aboriginal groups. While often associated with new age spiritualities, it is unclear whether the speakers fully embrace either meaning, or whether they use the term as a handy short-hand for something less fully defined 125 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management 4.1 Environmental values in wildlife management A major effort to characterise societal values in general is represented by Bellah et al. (1985), who used wide-ranging interviews to examine how we conceptualise the “good life” and how we answer the question “how ought we to live?” The specific issues raised are mostly concerned with interactions between the individual, the institutions within which she lives, and the culture within which the institutions function. They do not, therefore, offer much guidance for the specific questions of this thesis regarding how we ought to interact with non-human wildlife which do not live in the same institutions or culture. However, a recurrent theme throughout Bellah’s work is the finding that people in general are eager to discuss questions about how we ought to live, and have definite and detailed values and opinions to contribute, but lack a vocabulary or framework (and perhaps a need or desire) to fit those values and opinions into a comprehensive ethical theory. There is thus a disconnect between the ethics literature, which emphasises the internal consistency and logical coherence of such theories, and the social values literature, where such theories are of minor importance if any. Kempton et al. (1995) set out to describe the way lay (non-specialist) people generate mental models of the environment, and the extent to which those mental models are shared as cultural models common to Americans from various walks of life. They make a distinction between beliefs, which 126 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management are empirical statements about what the world is like, and values, which refer to what is “moral, desirable, or just” (Kempton et al., 1995, p. 12). Further, the beliefs may exist incorporated into cultural models, or may exist as standalone “isolates” (Kempton et al., 1995, p. 12). They also made the crucial point that they do not intend to imply that specialist models are better than lay models; indeed, “Ordinary people’s reactions to current environmental issues sometimes remind us of fundamental values or plain wisdom that can be forgotten in “sophisticated” policy analysis.” (Kempton et al., 1995, p. 2). Dunlap and Van Liere (1978) contrasted two competing world views: a ‘dominant social paradigm’ emphasizing science, technology and economic growth, and a ‘new environmental paradigm’ focusing on limits to growth, sustainability, and the ability of human actions to upset the balance of nature. They proposed a survey instrument (further discussed and updated by Dunlap et al., 2000) to measure respondents’ agreement with these two views, and found broad-based support for the ‘new environmental paradigm’ (NEP) among the general public. Ellis and Thompson (1997) and Lockhart (2001) argued that there are real cultural divergences, rather than the consensus identified by Kempton et al. (1995) or by Dunlap and Van Liere (1978) and Dunlap et al. (2000). Instead, these authors refer to a theory of cultural bias which suggests four major orientations towards social and political life: egalitarian, individualistic, hierarchical, and fatalistic (Ellis and Thompson, 1997, p. 885). Under 127 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management this theory, people would construct mental models of how the environment works in such a way as to support their basic outlook on political life. Thus disagreements over environmental policy decisions reflect not simply differences of opinion over how best to achieve an accepted goal, but more fundamental differences over how the problem is conceptualised and what goals or solutions are supported (Lockhart, 2001). Similarly, Butler et al. (2003) argued against a simplistic interpretation that attitudes towards wildlife are changing over time from a ‘utilitarian’ view to a ‘protectionist’ one, identifying instead four broad themes (social benefits, communication benefits, problem tolerance, and traditional conservation) influencing and making up attitudes towards wildlife. Van Den Born et al. (2001) refined the notion of mental models of ‘nature’ by asking respondents to rate various items on a scale from ‘no nature’ to ‘real nature’ and extracting not one, but six separate categories of nature: arcadian (e.g. ‘lambs in the meadow’), wild (e.g. ‘the wind’), penetrative (e.g. ‘weed in the garden’), domesticated (e.g. house-plants), utility (e.g. ‘a grain field’), and lastly ‘the rain forest’ as its own category (Van Den Born et al., 2001, p. 70). Respondents’ ratings of these categories suggested to the authors that the principle of self-organization dominates over the absence of humans as an organising principle for these views of nature. Buijs (2009) argued that an even finer resolution, distinguishing between different types of ‘arcadian’ nature, is necessary to inform nature conservation efforts in the Netherlands. Vining et al. (2008), on the other hand, concluded that their 128 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management respondents generally conceptualise nature as places from which humans are absent, while paradoxically considering themselves as part of nature. This conflicted view of ‘nature’ has been considered from an applied perspective in terms of wilderness management and ecological restoration, as was discussed in section 3.4. Kellert (1996) focused more specifically on values related to wildlife, generating a typology of nine basic value orientations (Utilitarian, Naturalistic, Ecologistic-scientific, Aesthetic, Symbolic, Humanistic, Moralistic, Dominionistic, and Negativistic.) Kellert then focused in detail on the similarities and variations in how these basic orientations are expressed in different cultures, by different groups within these cultures, and with regard to different species of wildlife. Much work has attempted to identify determinants of the variation in value orientation towards the environment in general or to wildlife in particular. Suggested determinants include rural versus urban residence (Berenguer et al., 2005; Kennedy et al., 2009; Lowe and Pinhey, 1982); profession (Freudenburg, 1991); participation in outdoor recreation (Dunlap and Heffernan, 1975; Oh and Ditton, 2008; Teisl and O’Brien, 2003; Theodori et al., 1998); ethnic or racial identity or background (McCarthy and Hague, 2004; Mohai and Bryant, 1998); gender (Dietz et al., 2002; MacDonald and Hara, 1994; Momsen, 2000; Stern et al., 1993); age (Buttel, 1979; Geisler et al., 1977); and educational level (Geisler et al., 1977). The results from this work are 129 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management conflicting, with some authors emphasizing commonality across different demographic groups, and others emphasizing differences between them. In addition, it is debatable how strong a link exists between environmental concern or wildlife value orientation as indicated by Dunlap’s NEP or Kellert’s typology of wildlife value orientations and actual pro-environmental behaviours (e.g., Blake et al., 1997; Huddart et al., 2009; Kaiser et al., 1999; Lopez and Cuervo-Arango, 2008). Both Kellert’s typology of wildlife values and Dunlap’s proposed ‘New environmental paradigm’ have also been used to investigate public attitudes towards large carnivores in particular (Kaltenborn et al., 1998; Kellert et al., 1996; Roskaft et al., 2007; Schwartz et al., 2003). The focus in these studies tends to be on determining whether different groups show different attitudes towards carnivores. Thus Kaltenborn et al. (1998) found that Norwegian sheep farmers tend to score slightly higher on the anti-NEP questions, while also expressing more negativistic, utilitarian, and dominionistic attitudes than did wildlife managers or scientists. Kellert et al. (1996) and Roskaft et al. (2007) examined public attitudes towards several species of carnivore (wolves, mountain lions, grizzly bear, wolverines, and lynx), with a general finding that negative attitudes increased with age and proximity to wildlife habitat, amongst farmers (who experienced a financial loss) and amongst Norwegian—but not American—hunters. Positive attitudes, on the other hand, tended to increase in larger urban areas and with higher education levels. 130 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management Other studies have focussed on variation in environmental value orientations within populations, making the point that these orientations are not mutually exclusive, and that the focus on determinants of differences encourages stereotyping and fails to appreciate the richness and variety of environmental and wildlife valuation (Hunter and Brehm, 2004; Zinn et al., 2002). Batt (2009) asked respondents for a single rating of how much they “liked” 40 different species, and found that the ratings for each species correlated to a similarity-to-humans score based on multiple behavioural and physiological attributes of each species. Similarly, Kaltenborn et al. (2006) looked at conflicts between humans and wildlife and found that, where only minor or moderate problems to humans are at stake, those affected are less likely to support lethal management of ‘likeable’ species, whereas where human life is threatened, there is no link between species preference and support for various management options. More detailed examinations of public values and beliefs with respect to specific, contextual wildlife management problems also exist. Many of these centre around the management of locally increasing or overabundant populations of animals such as deer (Christoffel and Craven, 2000; Lauber et al., 2001; Lischka et al., 2008; West and Parkhurst, 2002); elk (Lee and Miller, 2003); goose (Lauber et al., 2002); beaver (Jonker et al., 2006); black bear (Ryan et al., 2009); wolf (Bisi et al., 2007; Decker et al., 2006); cougar (Manfredo et al., 1998; Riley and Decker, 2000); koala (Wilks, 2008); feral horses (Nimmo and Miller, 2007); or domestic cats (Ash and Adams, 2003). As with 131 4.1. Environmental values in wildlife management the less case-specific examinations of attitudes towards predators discussed above, there is a general trend in these studies that negative attitudes towards these animals (and support for lethal management options) increased amongst those who had suffered financial or other losses to the animals. Knowledge of the animals sometimes increased positive attitudes towards them, but in other cases appeared correlated with proximity to (and thus losses from) the species in question. In some cases, the human dimensions inquiries explicitly refer to uncertainty or dissension regarding the end goals of management: The particular outcomes respondents wanted were diverse, however. They included: reduction of the goose population; reduction of goose-related problems; protecting the welfare of the geese; protecting human health and safety; low monetary impact; and others. It is clear that all respondents were not defining the problem to be solved in the same way. Common goals—even a common understanding of each other’s goals—could not be assumed. (Lauber et al., 2002, p. 588) In other cases, however, the contribution of human dimensions research is seen merely as a way to increase success at meeting traditional objectives of wildlife management, such as increasing hunter or angler satisfaction (Hutt and Jackson, 2008; Schroeder et al., 2006), or predicting how hunters (seen as the primary tool for managing populations) would react to changing regulations (and thus, how these regulations would impact the wildlife population) (Stedman et al., 2004). 132 4.2. Analyzing value expressions These previous findings are consistent with the argument I make in this chapter, namely that there is, in society at large, a broader range of moral concern and held values than can be adequately contained by any single ethical framework. There is, in addition, a general lack of evidence to support J. Baird Callicott’s (1990, p. 115.) opinion that “I think, however, that we human beings deeply need and mightily strive for consistency, coherency, and closure in our personal and shared outlook on the world and on ourselves in relation to the world and to each other.” The lay expressions of value and concern examined in this chapter appear to be quite happily expressed without any particular need to make recourse to the consistency and coherency Callicott presumes a need for. 4.2 Analyzing value expressions Several methods have been used in previous literature to elicit environmental values. One approach is to ask respondents to assign a monetary value they would be willing to pay (WTP) to protect an ecosystem feature or service, or alternately the amount they would be willing to accept (WTA) as compensation for the loss of features or services. These approaches are problematic where the respondents’ value amounts are symbolic purchases of ‘moral satisfaction’ (Kahneman and Knetsch, 1992) rather than market valuations of specific features or services, or where respondents are unable or unwilling to consider trading off ‘protected’ values in monetary terms 133 4.2. Analyzing value expressions (Baron and Spranca, 1997). In terms of this thesis, however, even to the extent WTP/WTA valuations may have validity, they fail to address more subtle questions of how to manage activities that do not lead to wholesale loss of environmental features or services. Elicitation of environmental values or preferences in non-economic terms has also proved problematic. Fischhoff (1991) suggested that only a relatively small number of ‘basic values’ are stable and well defined; for most questions, ‘articulated values’ are derived by combining basic values with features of the context in which the values are to be articulated. This means that the values elicited are sensitive to the framing of the questions asked, and has led to suggestions for more realistic policy-forum or decision-based elicitation tasks (Gregory and Wellman, 2001; Keeney et al., 1990; Satterfield, 1997), or for richer and more explicitly affective narrative valuation tasks (Satterfield, 2001; Satterfield et al., 2000; Shanahan et al., 1999). Given that the aim of this chapter is to explore the breadth and diversity of different conceptions of wildlife in the wildlife tourism context, and of conceptions of how this wildlife tourism ought to be managed (specifically, what ends should such management strive to achieve or avoid,) closed-end survey methodologies were rejected as unable to capture the rare outliers which the survey designer would not be able to predict. In-depth surveys were initially considered, but due to logistical difficulties and to concerns over influencing the responses through the framing of the questions and the expectations of the interviewer, an analysis of existing secondary sources was 134 4.2. Analyzing value expressions preferred. Several types of secondary source were identified: media reporting on controversies surrounding wildlife tourism, op-ed and letters-to-editor discussion of such controversies, travel writing reporting on wildlife viewing trips taken by the reporter, reports on seasonal wildlife migration relevant to planning wildlife viewing trips, and popular media treatments of research into wildlife tourism or wildlife research relevant to tourism areas. Extensive databases exist of Canadian daily newspapers and periodicals, and, without necessarily restricting the geographical extent of the tourism reported on, these databases were used to bound the “population” studied to the Canadian context. While interviews or surveys might have been advantageous in some sense, the use of pre-existing writings of this sort avoids the framing issues present in interview-based work. Analysing this type of data allows the discussion to be framed as it arises in society, much (though, as letters to the editor are included, by no means all) of the writings will be by professional or free-lance reporters. To the extent that these writers differ in socio-economic or other ways from the population as a whole, there may be biases towards the sorts of concerns that are considered news-worthy or interesting to write about. This type of analysis should certainly not be taken as quantitatively representative of the extent to which different values or norms predominate, but the intent of my research and the conclusions drawn from it rely on describing the breadth and variety of these values and norms, rather than their relative or absolute frequencies within a representative sample of a defined population. Limiting the data set to Canadian sources allowed me to read 135 4.2. Analyzing value expressions every article in the database related to wildlife-viewing tourism, which would not have been possible had I taken a random sample of articles from a less bounded indexing service. I started by searching the “Canadian Newsstand” indexing service, which covers Canadian daily newspapers. Initial searches for “wildlife tourism” generated relatively few hits, but cursory examination of the hits found suggested synonyms and specific species to add to the search string. I searched for the keywords (whale or bear or dolphin or shark or wildlife) occurring within five words of the keywords (watching or viewing or tour*), on the 10th of August, 2007. This yielded 15456 matches. The search terms used picked up many articles unrelated to wildlife viewing tourism (e.g., sports teams using animal names or mascots, or TV shows that might “bear watching”) However, rather than risk excluding relevant content by modifying the search terms until a suitably small number of matches was returned, I elected to quickly scan through the titles as a coarse manual filter which would retain all articles relevant to wildlife-viewing tourism while excluding most of those using the keywords used in other contexts. Limiting myself to the five-year period between August 1st, 2002 and August 10th, 2007, I retained approximately 10% of the titles scanned. I then searched the “Canadian Periodicals Index”, on the 14th of August, 2007, for the keywords “ecotour* OR wildlife viewing OR wildlife tour*”, which yielded a further 838 records, which were added to the database. Again, synonyms were picked based on a cursory examination of initial re136 4.2. Analyzing value expressions sults. Articles in this database tended to be longer and more general examinations of issues, rather than specific descriptions of particular trips or contexts (compared to the daily newspapers), so more general terms occurred in the text, and adding specific species names to the search seemed to result in excessive hits related to wildlife issues other than the non-consumptive wildlife viewing tours of interest. I next scanned the 1800 records in my database, using the titles and abstracts as a second manual filter, to determine which were of relevance, flagging 959 records for analysis of the full text. Of these, for various reasons (e.g., database errors, lack of UBC subscriptions, smaller newspapers that do not retain full-text records), a hundred did not have full text accessible, 200 were duplicate articles (sometimes due to errors in importing the records into my own database, often due to wire articles being published in multiple newspapers, sometimes due to the respective databases considering the same source both a “daily” and a “periodical,”) and a further hundred were eventually deemed not relevant once the full text was looked at (e.g., the title referred tourists surprised to see bears on downtown streets but the text made it clear they were referring to painted fiberglass bear statues.) I analysed the full text of 570 articles, finding relevant values content in 209. Articles without relevant values content might, for instance, merely report that the grey whales were migrating past Tofino this week, or that a new bear-viewing company had started up in Revelstoke. Any content reflecting any form of moral valuation of wildlife, or any normative suggestions re137 4.2. Analyzing value expressions garding how wildlife should be treated or how humans should behave around wildlife was extracted and used as an eligible note and added to my database. In all, I extracted 373 notes related to these articles (see Appendix 7 for a full listing.) The coding scheme used for analysis of the articles was developed initially by reference to the types of value expected based on the ethical analysis in chapter 3 and a general knowledge of the types of measures of human disturbance used in the scientific literature (see chapter 5,) and refined through a pilot study of 40 articles. Based on this pilot study, the language of formal ethical theories was found less prevalent in the lay literature, so the final codes used mirror the latter’s language. Coding of the final corpus of data was semi-closed; a few additional sub-codes were added as unexpected issues (e.g., protecting the privacy of wildlife) emerged in the analysis. The final coding schema is presented in Table 4.1 and Table 4.2. The key questions I asked of each source were: “What should we do about wildlife tourism?” (content relevant to this question coded as ‘prescription’); “What should we measure to see if we’re doing it?” (coded as ‘measure’, with sub-codes); and “Why is this measure important?” (coded as ‘justification’, again with subcodes). In addition, where wildlife tourism was presented as a good thing for wildlife (or as a better thing than other alternatives,) these presentations were coded as ‘benefits.’ In the pilot study, many expressions of values in or attitudes towards wildlife emerged without a strong tie to the three questions above (and this lack of strong tie between expressions of value and 138 4.2. Analyzing value expressions prescriptions becomes a central theme of my results,) so a ‘valuation’ code (and sub-code) was added to catch these. Lastly, a catch-all ‘summary’ code was used where the gist of the article was relevant enough to keep, but no clear fit between specific extracts and the codes above was obvious. Two major themes emerge from the analysis of these data. First, we find a wide variety of both value-laden descriptions of wildlife (as a resource; as individuals; as a hazard) and of prescriptions for human behaviour with respect to animals (use them freely (as long as the use is sustainable); respect them for their own sake (though it is often unclear precisely what this entails); leave them alone; manage viewing carefully to habituate animals and reduce risks to humans; manage viewing carefully to avoid habituation so animals remain “wild”; manage viewing caref
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Wildlife viewing and ecotourism : ethical, scientific, and value-based considerations Pitts, Anton D. 2010
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