You are here: home   Issues   The new Wild, Wild West   Techno-eco-literacy
Topic: Flora & Fauna     Department: Letters


Document Actions

Jim Robbins' article "Wildlife Biology Goes High-Tech" is an excellent exploration of the explosion of technology used by wildlife biologists these days (HCN, 12/10/12). As someone who has first-hand experience with some of these technologies, I agree that we can now ask critical ecological and conservation questions that we couldn't have approached a decade or two ago. Still, Robbins brings up an important point that there is a line, somewhere, regarding the invasiveness of our studies and whether they benefit the species. Biologists need to honestly evaluate this.

However, Robbins misses a significant use of technology: community outreach. He negatively focuses on how biologists are now tracking animals from their desks, losing their "field" connection to wildlife, and ultimately hindering conservation. He fails to bring up how technology such as remotely triggered cameras can bring people other than biologists closer to the wildlife -- furthering ecological literacy while maintaining "wild" mystery. Organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Cat Conservancy have programs where high school students operate wildlife cameras and the photos are shown in local coffee shops and community centers to increase awareness and foster stewardship of local wildlife. Communicating the importance of wildlife will allow conservation to succeed in the long run, no matter the technology used to get there.

Erica Goad 
Fort Collins, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  2. The man behind a New Mexico county's fracking ban | Last year Mora became the first county in the nati...
  3. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  4. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  5. Salmon go down the tubes – literally | Washington biologists test pressurized tubes to tr...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Flora & Fauna
The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
Mustang modification Review of 'The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs.'
Are we smart enough to solve our raven problem? As ravens spread, they’re finding friends and foes in Western states.
All Flora & Fauna
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone