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Ecosystem governance is a highly contested issue where competing human stakeholder groups wield unequal power over nonhuman species. Pluralistic approaches to ecosystem governance consider a diversity of voices and disciplines to apply translational ecological knowledge to policy. However, the rights, agency, and welfare of nonhuman species – at the abstract (macro) and individual (micro) levels – are rarely considered, distancing nonhumans from human interests. This ‘othering’, results in nonhumans being treated as subservient to humans in power relations, which can result in poor welfare and even death. This study draws on multispecies ethnography, posthumanism, multispecies livelihoods, decolonial ecology, and translational ecology literature to critically review current paradigms in ecosystem governance and questions how to represent nonhumans equitably in ecosystem governance. This essay also considers qualitative data collected during 15 months of a multi-sited, multispecies ethnographic study that explored wolf-human (Canis lupus) relations in the western United States during the Trump Administration. A pluralistic posthumanist wildlife-human coexistence framework for translational ecology is presented that emphasizes nonhumans’ rights, welfare, and agency in ecosystem governance.

Original publication





Book title

Advances in Ecological Research

Publication Date