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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Now I have seen wolves

My first encounter with wolves (from a distance) took place in Kristiansand dyrepark (Kristiansand Zoo, Norway), guided by Olav Åsland, their main responsible for keeping the captive wolves. It's a pack of 6 wolves, born in 2002 (alpha male), 2005 (alpha female) and 2008 (the four pups) respectively. They were being fed, with pieces of horse meat. A lot of crows joined in on the eating. After a little time the wolves came running to get hold of a few of the meat pieces, and then ran off to the heights in order to eat undisturbed.

A curious male wolverine, at the other side of the path, had a good look at us, a few meters from the fence.

Friday, 23 January 2009

International participation at workshops

The February workshops on perception seem to be turning into international events, also at the level of participation. By now there are registered participants from Norway, Finland and USA, in addition to from Estonia. Three invited foreign scholars are among the presenters: David Abram (US), John Deely (US) and Wendy Wheeler (UK).

The workshops are open for registration, see the event homepage - which by now displays a full list of presenters (and most titles) as well as a brief introduction to David Abram's phenomenology.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Arne Næss

Arne Næss died yesterday.

He was the one who inspired me to adapt to philosophy. I had the fortune to meet him - amongst other things, I conducted a couple of interviews with him, I arranged two public talks in Oslo, and I attended a 3-day seminar on deep ecology.

He was a great man.

Too great for his time, which was not mature for his thought, his instinct.

Too great for his (and my) country, which barely understood him, embracing only his entertaining, clown-like side. In Norway everybody knew who he was - and yet hardly anyone knew what he was all about. Though his persona in the Norwegian context out shadowed his philosophy, he leaves behind him a philosophy that is internationally greater than the image of his persona, and that remains alive and thriving - a seed inspiring much needed change for our global civilization, at this critical point in history.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

First wolf article - Umwelt mapping

My article "The Phenomenal Fields of Wolves on the Scandinavian Peninsula during Their Recovery" has been finished and submitted to Journal of Comparative Psychology, edited by Gordon M. Burghardt.

ABSTRACT
This study makes use of a typology of four phenomenal fields, with roots in the work of Jakob von Uexküll (1864-1944), in a systematic assessment of modern wolf ecology on the Scandinavian Peninsula, with emphasis on the wolves’ private experience. It shows that the wolves on the Scandinavian Peninsula are shy animals which demonstrate clear preferences for forest-covered environments and a diet dominated by moose (Alces alces). The findings of this study suggest that wildlife management policy should be developed with a short-term as well as a long-term perspective. While recovery is the logical conservation goal in the short term, when a variant of human-dependent viability is in many cases all that is achievable, to restore independent viability should be the long-term goal for wildlife management.

KEYWORDS
Gray wolf Canis lupus, wolf ecology, wildlife management, Umwelt

Monday, 5 January 2009

New research project in zoosemiotics

Timo Maran´s research project "Dynamical zoosemiotics and animal representations" (grant no. ETF/ESF 7790), where I am involved, has been granted funding. It will span over the years 2009-2012.