Reference : Feral Pigeons in the Cities : Cultural Categories and Wildlife Management
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Anthropology
Feral Pigeons in the Cities : Cultural Categories and Wildlife Management
Colon, Paul-Louis [Université de Liège - ULiège > Institut des sciences humaines et sociales > Anthropologie de la communication >]
Third Conference of the COmpetence NeTwork URban ECology – Urban Biodiversiy and Design : Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in Towns and Cities
21-24 mai 2008
University of Applied Science, Erfurt
[en] feral pigeon ; wildlife management ; human-animal relations
[en] From many aspects, one can observe that, by contrast with other times and places, feral pigeons do not have a definite status in contemporary European cities. They seem to be perpetually crossing boundaries between different categories that people usually refer to in order to understand and engage with the world surrounding them. As a part of wildlife in an urban environment, feral pigeons elicit contrasted feelings amongst inhabitants of cities and question cultural distinctions such as domestic/wild, public/private, clean/dirt, etc.
This research was a part of a multidisciplinary project aiming at evaluating both ecological and anthropological dimensions of the presence of feral pigeons in Paris. It will be argued that feral pigeons in cities could be viewed as a kind of symbolic disorder. Political measures, scientific interest and citizen behaviors towards them could therefore be understood as attempts to give the pigeons a definite status. This perspective could help improving the management of urban biodiversity by providing clues to integrate its ecological and cultural dimensions.

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