Invasiveness in the nature conservation debate: categories and standardized data in a wildlife-network

Categorizations in nature conservation are often highly consequential, especially in the case of invasiveness in which species preferably should be eradicated from a particular area or severely controlled, and is often a source of severe difficulty and political intention.

A detailed look into the processes behind categorisation in nature conservation is needed. Particularly in so-called Human-Wildlife-Conflict situations (HWC’s) the use of categories and how they are implemented is contested and made visible. In these HWC’s particular wildlife categorisations are differently interpreted and differently used in a variety of contexts/practices. The ‘conflict animal’ in these disputes are generally socially significant species, such as protected, invasive, touristic attraction, cuddly, nuisance species etc. Wildlife managers have to deal with these conflict situations. The nature of the conflict is determined by the relation between the ‘conflict animal’ and the different actors by using particular categorisations and their interpretation, as well as by the relation between actors in how they relate to each other. Focus of this research is on the different positions and dynamics in the debate of invasiveness and the impact of categorization on actual wildlife management in HWC's.