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Living with Vultures in the Sixth Extinction: An Ethnographic Study of Avian Conservation in Changing European Landscapes

Project description

Vulture conservation in a changing European environment

Sixth Extinction is a term referring to the extinction of plants and animals during the Holocene epoch, as a consequence of human activity. Research suggests global events marked by specific historical and cultural circumstances accelerated species extinction. The EU-funded LiVE project will research Andalusia (Spain) and the Massif Central (France) with the aim to establish a comparative ethnography based on historical data and social anthropology on vulture conservation in changing European environments. It will investigate the techniques, practices and ideas applied in wildlife conservation and management to provide an innovative study on modern understanding and managing of wildlife conservation. It will also provide knowledge of the possibilities and problems of human-wildlife coexistence in today’s environments.


LiVE provides a historically informed comparative ethnography of contemporary vulture conservation in changing European landscapes. It investigates how the global phenomena of accelerating species loss and corresponding wildlife management unfold within specific historical and cultural contexts. Based within the discipline of social anthropology, and drawing on an interdisciplinary framework, the project expands science-centred discourses on wildlife conservation and management to include social and cultural analysis. It will do so through a timely in-depth qualitative analysis of the situated practices, techniques and ideas involved in vulture conservation today, emplaced in two rural communities in Andalusia, Spain, and the Massif Central in France. Using participatory methods the project involves close collaboration with conservation practitioners and stakeholders in the field. Through integrating the latest interdisciplinary knowledge from avian conservation science and vulture biology into social analysis, as well as by experimenting with more-than-human ethnographic methods, the project results in an innovative study of how to understand and manage wildlife conservation in the Sixth Extinction. Insights gained through the study will be of relevance to academic and applied environmental research, whilst also contributing new knowledge to wider cross-disciplinary public debates on the challenges and possibilities of human-wildlife coexistence in anthropogenic environments. In doing so, it applies RRI principles and contributes to addressing challenges of sustainable development specified in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Net EU contribution
€ 321 238,08
0313 Oslo

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Norge Oslo og Viken Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 321 238,08