Dr Sandra Baker

Research Interests

My primary research interests relate to the welfare of wild vertebrates, including human-wildlife conflict, wildlife management and wildlife trade issues. I am the Humane Society Research Fellow and a member of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).

My earlier work focused on non-lethal wildlife management methods, including learned and generalised food aversions for managing badgers and foxes, and Conditioned Taste Aversion for protecting egg prey from crows. I also studied attitudes towards, and drivers of, fox hunting with hounds. More recently I investigated various aspects of mole control, following the 2006 UK ban on strychnine poison, including research on mole damage, the need for mole control, the efficacy and welfare impact of trapping moles, and the opinions and behaviour of farmers and other land managers in relation to the humaneness of mole management methods. Leading on from that, I studied the performance of unregulated spring traps for rats, mice and moles, and possible welfare implications. More recently I led a systematic review of animal welfare in the global wildlife trade. I have also studied the measurement of trap selectivity in relation to animal welfare and conservation.

My current research focuses on the animal welfare impact of vertebrate management methods, including applying and developing a model to examine the impacts of both lethal and non-lethal methods, and to identify ways of reducing these.

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