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Environmentalities of coexistence with wolves in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain

By A. Marino, J. C. Blanco, J. A. Cortes-Vazquez, J. V. Lopez-Bao, A. P. Bosch, S. M. Durant

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Coexistence between humans and large carnivores is mediated by diverse values and interactions. We focus on four sites in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain with a history of continuous wolf presence to examine how perceptions of coexistence vary across contexts. We conducted semi-structured and informal interviews with livestock farmers (n = 271), hunters (n = 157), and local community members (n = 60) to collect quantitative and qualitative data on people's experiences of coexistence with wolves. We use an environmentality framework to analyse approaches to wolf governance across sites and explore how local resource users perceive, negotiate, and respond to different governance approaches. Our analysis is firstly structured around coexistence subjectivities associated with pastoralist and hunter cultures. These encompass ambivalent and multi-layered relations founded on notions of reciprocity with nature and on resource users' roles as producers and land stewards. Secondly, we explore encounters between local cultures, interests, and environmental regulations in the context of different site-based environmentalities. The framework we adopt enables coexistence to be conceived as a space of competing knowledges and practices, arising from everyday embodied interactions with wolves and the cultural politics through which local communities negotiate different ways of governing, knowing, and relating to nature.

Publication Title Conservation and Society
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 345-357
ISBN/ISSN 0972-4923
DOI 10.4103/cs.cs_66_21
Language English
Author Address Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London; Anthropology Department, University College London, London, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agencies and organizations
  2. Animals
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. Biodiversity
  5. Biological resources
  6. Business
  7. Canidae
  8. Canine
  9. Carnivores
  10. Communities
  11. Countries
  12. Ecology
  13. Environment
  14. Europe
  15. Government
  16. Human development
  17. Hunting
  18. Income
  19. Invertebrates
  20. Mammals
  21. Mediterranean region
  22. natural resources
  23. OECD countries
  24. perceptions
  25. politics
  26. Psychiatry and psychology
  27. Public administration
  28. Public Relations
  29. Resources
  30. Social psychology and social anthropology
  31. Social sciences
  32. Spain
  33. vertebrates
  34. Wild animals
  35. Wolves
  36. Zoology