Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-n6p7q Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-03T19:23:53.623Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Collecting birds: the importance of moral debate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2010

Marc Bekoff
Environmental, Population, and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderColorado 80309–0334U.S.A
Andrzej Elzanowski
Scientific Advisory Council to The Humane Society of the United States700 Professional DriveGaithersburgMaryland 20879U.S.A.
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]


Core share and HTML view are not available for this content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

In a recent article in this journal, Remsen (1995) attacked moral (and other) objections to killing birds for museum collections, objections that are frequently raised by the general public and scientific community alike. The only grounds for moral objections against killing birds that Remsen considers and rejects are reverence for all life or personal (p. 157; all page references refer to Remsen 1995), that is sentimental (p. 165) reasons. What Remsen ignores is avian sentience and the moral imperative of respecting it.

Research Article
Copyright © Birdlife International 1997


Bekoff, M. (1994) Cognitive ethology and the treatment of non-human animals: how matters of mind inform matters of welfare. Anim. Welfare 3: 7596.Google Scholar
Bekoff, M. (1995a) Marking, trapping, and manipulating animals: some methodological and ethical considerations. Pp. 3147 in Bayne, K. A. L. and Kreger, M. D., eds., Wildlife mammals as research models: in the laboratory and field. Greenbelt, Maryland: Scientists Center for Animal Welfare.Google Scholar
Bekoff, M. (1995b). Naturalizing and individualizing animal well-being and animal minds: an ethologist's naiveté exposed? Pp. 63129 in A., Rowan ed., Wildlife conservation, zoos, and animal protection: a strategic analysis. Grafton, Mass.: Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy.Google Scholar
Bekoff, M. and Hettinger, N. (1994) Animals, nature, and ethics. J. of Mammalogy 75: 219223.Google Scholar
Bekoff, M. and Jamieson, D. (1991) Reflective ethology, applied philosophy, and the moral status of animals. Perspect. Ethol. 9: 147.Google Scholar
Bekoff, M. and Jamieson, D. (1996) Ethics and the study of carnivores: doing science while respecting animals. Pp. 1545 in Gittleman, J. L., ed., Carnivore behavior, ecology, and evolution: 2. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Broom, D. M. and Johnson, K. G.. (1993) Stress and animal welfare. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
Cooper, N. S. and Carling, R. C. J. eds. (1996) Ecologists and ethical judgements. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
Cuthill, I. (1991) Field experiments in animal behaviour: methods and ethics. Anim. Behav. 42: 10071014.Google Scholar
Dawkins, M. S. (1980) Animal suffering: the science of animal welfare. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
Dawkins, M. S. (1990) From an animal's point of view: motivation, fitness, and animal welfare. Behav. Sci. 13: 161.Google Scholar
DeGrazia, D. (1996) Taking animals seriously: Mental life and moral status. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Elzanowski, A. (1991) Motivation and subjective experience in birds. 20th International Ornithological Congress, Acta: 1921–1929.Google Scholar
Elzanowski, A. (1993) The moral career of vertebrate values. Pp. 259276 in Nitecki, M. H. and Nitecki, D. V., eds., Evolutionary ethics, Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Gentle, M. J. (1991) Behavioural and physiological responses to pain in the chicken. 20th International Ornithological Congress, Acta: 1915–1920.Google Scholar
Gentle, M. J. (1992) Pain in birds. Anim. Welfare 1: 237247.Google Scholar
Kellert, S. (1996) The value of life: Biological diversity and human society. Washington, D. C: Island Press.Google Scholar
Loftin, R. W. (1992) Scientific collecting. Environ. Ethics 14: 253264.Google Scholar
Mench, J. A. (1991) Stress in birds. 20th International Ornithological Congress, Acta: 1905–1914.Google Scholar
Oring, L. W., Able, K. P., Anderson, D.W., Baptista, L. F., Barlow, J. C., Gaunt, A. S.Gill, F. B. and Wingfield, J.C. (1988) Guidelines for Use of Wild Birds in Research. Auk 105 (Suppl.): 1a41a.Google Scholar
Putnam, R. J. (1996) Ethical considerations and animal welfare in ecological field studies. Pp. 123135 in Cooper, N. S. and Carling, R. C. J. eds. Ecologists and ethical judgements. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
Remsen, J. V. (1995) The importance of continued collecting of bird specimens to ornithology and bird conservation. Bird Conserv. Int. 5: 145180.Google Scholar
Rowan, A. (1995) Scientists and animal research. Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde. Soc. Res. 62: 787800.Google Scholar
Skutch, A. F. (1996) The minds of birds. College Station: Texas A & M University Press.Google Scholar
Webster, J. (1994) Animal welfare. A cool eye towards Eden. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar