Caged for protection

In a new article in Environment and history I explore the relationship between natural and national heritage through a perplexing case study of the preservation of New Zealand’s native plant Dactylanthus taylorii, also known as Wood Rose.

Abstract: Emerging from an ethnographic encounter with the conservation efforts to save an enclave of Dactylanthus taylorii in Tongariro National Park, the article discusses some of the paradoxes of conservation management by interdisciplinary tracing of the research and conservation history of the plant. First, the article examines how our efforts to protect native species contribute to transforming the very environment of which they are part. Furthermore, by tracing the plant’s history of decline and the following rise of conservation, the article addresses the role of native species in relation to notions of belonging and the creation and maintenance of a national heritage.

Read the full article: H. Hølleland 2017 Caged for Protection: Exploring the Paradoxes of Protecting New Zealand’s Dactylanthus taylorii. Environment and history 23(4):545-567.

The accepted preprint (almost the same) is available for free here. This piece was also presented at the Thor Heyerdahl International Day 2017.

Photo: Department of ConservationCC BY-SA 4.0