Layton Dialogue - 'Is violence at the heart of human-wildlife coexistence?'
A Dialogue between: Dr Juno Salazar Parreñas, Assistant Professor, Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Ohio State University. Prof Catherine Hill, Professor in Anthropology, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University.
With Discussant: Dr Ben Cambpell, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Durham University.
The Anthropocene mass extinction is distinct from all its predecessors in that it is caused largely by the activities of a single species. Among the great apes, ours is the only species not currently considered endangered. As human populations and ranges have expanded, increasing overlap between humans and wildlife raises the potential for conflict over shared space and resources. For example, wild primates can threaten human livelihoods and safety with damage to crops and physical attacks, while human activities substantially reduce primate populations through extensive hunting and habitat destruction. Conserving species, therefore, requires navigation of complex, multidimensional ecological and cultural landscapes. Huge amounts of effort are invested in the conservation of large and charismatic species through protected reserves, rehabilitation centres and breeding programmes, often involving a high degree of control over the individual animals’ lives, significantly restricting their freedom to range, interact and reproduce as they would in the wild. These programmes can have substantially detrimental effects on local populations who may lose access to land and resources critical for subsistence, raising the questions of who is conservation for and how should it be done? At the 2019 Layton Dialogue, we will discuss the question of whether multispecies violence is inevitable in human-wildlife coexistence in the Anthropocene.
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