Humans and Wildlife: Conflict and Conservation (ANTM105)

15 credits

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MODULE IS ONLY AVAILABLE VIA DISTANCE-LEARNING.

The Anthropocene as an epoch in the Earth’s history began some 200 years ago, marked by a widespread technological shift to industrialization and the associated impact of anthropogenic activity on the planet’s geological and environmental stability. Conservation is such a prominent issue for anthropologists therefore because the anthropogenic activities which threaten other species also have negative impacts on human communities globally. However, there is no general consensus regarding sustainable human–animal–environmental relations. Disparate attitudes towards the fate of the natural world and the importance ascribed to wildlife conservation can result in conflicts between human groups because of the contrasting ways in which animals and other ‘natural’ phenomena are perceived, represented, valued and ‘consumed’. This becomes particularly problematic when the animals in question are endangered and therefore protected by law. An anthropologically informed anthrozoology can play a vital role in helping people understand the ways in which others perceive animals, and how these perceptions determine subsequent interactions, with important implications for achieving sustainable co-existences. In this module you will be invited to explore a range of interactions between humans and wild animals, from the hunting of 'pests' to the re-introduction of endemic species and the contested benefits and ethical implications of getting up close and personal with wild animals through eco-tourism ventures.

There are no pre-requisites, and the module would be particularly suitable for students on other programmes, especially those focussing on environmental sustainability and conservation.