Hi, “Our Urban Jungle” I found this an interesting essay, and relevant to our baboon problems in the Cape Peninsula. Give an animal a negative label and it often becomes difficult to sway public opinion. It’s a global issue that little consideration is given to displaced wildlife with our ever increasing creep of urban sprawl. Thanks for letting me use the article.
Since I do a lot of work with urban coyotes, I often run into the concept of “pest” species — species that humans do not want around for one reason or another (perhaps they are considered aesthetically unpleasing, or are deemed a health risk, for example). The notion of labeling a species as a pest, however, begs the question of who gets to define what constitutes a pest, and what motivations are at play.
Colin Jerolmack’s article, “How Pigeons Became Rats: The Cultural-Spatial Logic of Problem Animals” is an interesting read on how pigeons “gained” the status of pests in the U.S. He went through New York Times articles from 1851-2006 and looked at the changing discourse related to pigeons over time — what he found was quite insightful, I think, and still relevant to how we view nature in the city.
Pigeons were not always depicted as “rats with…
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