Roundtable Review of Wired Wilderness by Etienne Benson

Hamblin, Jacob D., ed. | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Hamblin, Jacob D., ed. Roundtable Review of Wired Wilderness: Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife, by Etienne Benson. H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 3, no.1 (2013).

Introduced by American wildlife biologists in the 1950s, the practice of fitting animals with radio transmitters proved so useful to scientists and nonscientists that it became global by the 1980s. Wired Wilderness is the first book-length study of the origin, evolution, use, and impact of these now commonplace tracking technologies. Etienne Benson traces the radio tracking of wild animals across a wide range of institutions, regions, and species and in a variety of contexts. He explains how hunters, animal rights activists, and other conservation-minded groups gradually turned tagging from a tool for control into a conduit for connection with wildlife. Drawing on extensive archival research, interviews with wildlife biologists and engineers, and in-depth case studies of specific conservation issues—such as the management of deer, grouse, and other game animals in the US upper Midwest and the conservation of tigers and rhinoceroses in Nepal—Benson illuminates telemetry’s context dependent uses and meanings as well as commonalities among tagging practices. Scholars of and researchers involved in wildlife management will find this history both fascinating and revealing.

(Text adapted from The Johns Hopkins University Press website.)

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