The paradox of environmental protection: denaturalizing the Scandinavian wolf through enhancement practices
Annelie Sjölander-Lindqvist (University of Gothenburg)
Through state-initiated policies enhancing a viable Scandinavian wolf population science and administration have broadened their interaction with nature. Whereas the wolf traditionally has been considered as wilderness specie, the modern environmental discourse on the fragility and scarcity of biodiversity has contributed to changed nature frontiers on behalf of the wolf. Through inventories and motion-tracking devices, wolf-inhabited lands have become arenas for engagement and practices endowing the wolf continued existence in the fauna. As a result of recovery actions, the wolf is denaturalized; no longer perceived as wild and remote a process of 'culturification' is fostered. Instead of being considered a property of nature, the wolf has become part of the social landscape. Based in the environmental conservation idiom, administrators' and biological scientists' activities blur the boundaries, conferring the wolf a 'working animal' position in human society. Extraneous to nature, the wolf has become a cultural property of economy and politics.
Engaging resources: anthropological perspectives on the formation and contestation of natural resource environments