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Trends in wildlife research: a bibliometric approach

AutorArroyo, Beatriz ; Mateo, Rafael ; García, Jesús T.
Fecha de publicación2016
CitaciónCurrent Trends in Wildlife Research: 1-28 (2016)
SerieWildlife Research Monographs 1
Resumen“Wildlife” is a word that has different meanings for different people and in different contexts. In fact, many people use it with an unconscious attachment to a particular meaning, not necessarily aware of it being used differently by other people. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, wildlife means “the native fauna (and sometimes flora) of a region”. In many cases, however, this “native fauna” is, consciously or unconsciously, limited to vertebrate species, and it sometimes excludes fish (as implicitly implied in the names of the “Fish and Wildlife” societies and services in the US). Conversely, fish (at least fresh-water fish) is considered as “wildlife” in many countries, as they are part of the same ecosystems and their management is analogous. Likewise, butterflies and other invertebrates are usually included in “wildlife inventories” at least in the UK. Wildlife is also used as a term for “undomesticated animals living in the wild” (American Heritage Dictionary) or “animals and plants that grow independently of people, usually in natural conditions” (Cambridge Advance Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus). Here, the emphasis is put in the “untamed” quality of species considered as wildlife. Traditionally, “wildlife” includes all game species in the US, as hunting represents, in the social discourse there, a way to approach wilderness (Good 1997). Indeed, according to the Webster’s Dictionary, wildlife means “wild animals, especially those hunted for food or sport”. On the other hand, game species are, at least in Europe, intensively managed, so they do not “grow independently of people”, and some voices claim that, in these circumstances, they are livestock rather than wildlife (Díaz et al. 2009). In some European languages, there are different words for game species and non-game species, and only the latter include some reference to “wild” in the non-English term (e.g. faune sauvage vs gibier in French, or fauna silvestre vs fauna cinegética or caza in Spanish). The recent change of name of the “Game Conservancy Trust” in the UK to the “Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust” somehow also confronts both terms, as if they were, if not antonyms, at least dissimilar or complementary.
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