Skip to main content

About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 08 May 2023

Digital technology (DT) first started to make its mark on the interactions between people and wildlife when it began to play a serious role in the tracking and monitoring of animal populations in the 1970s and 1980s. These early endeavours demanded large amounts of computing investment and the results could only be interpreted by a small number of people with the right expertise. However, an increasingly wide variety of applications have started to appear on smartphones to encourage the interest of ordinary users in identifying and monitoring wild animals, plants, fungi and other forms of wildlife in rural and urban areas. At the same time, citizen science has become an increasingly important motivator for the gathering of this kind of data. As a result, more and more people are having their interactions with wildlife mediated by digital technology. Computing now plays a significant role in the everyday work of conservation and it has also started to have an important impact on the amelioration of human-wildlife conflict (HWC). Nonetheless, its potential to improve the relationship between people and wildlife is still under-explored.

DT has had an impact upon people's relationship with wildlife species across a variety of dimensions and has helped to put new information about them into the public domain, chiefly through media representations. A range of smartphone applications can now support everyday encounters with wildlife by resourcing recognition, identification and the provision of information about wildlife species. Social media further supports the sharing of stories of encounters with wildlife in various ways. DT is implicated in the support of visitor and touristic encounters with animals in nature reserves and at visitor centres and non-experts now use DT to gather data about the movement and density of animal populations that can feed into conservation efforts. People also share data with scientists that help to enrich understanding of animal habitats. Beyond this, DT also plays a role in conservation activism, including efforts to reduce HWC. Lastly, DT has also had a huge impact on research and science, where it has enabled new ways of seeing and new forms of research on wildlife. At the same time, the widespread capture of wildlife data can bring with it issues, such as the reliability of the data providers, the incorrect identification of species, and potential misunderstanding of species behaviour and interactions. Poor data reliability can also result from tracking and monitoring technology impinging on animal welfare and altering the very behaviours and interactions that the technology is intended to capture. The consequences of gathering sensitive data on animals also need to be considered, including potential data security risks, whereby data collected for conservation purposes could be stolen and misused. Mitigating these risks highlights the importance of designing and deploying technological interventions that take into account the needs of animal stakeholders.

This Research Topic seeks to bring together a collection of papers that explore the impact digital technology can have upon the relationship between people and all forms of wildlife, for good and for bad, in different contexts and to identify the many challenges that still remain and the efforts being made to address them.

We are looking for full research papers, shorter position pieces and perspective articles, and even more creative or experimental contributions that seek to address and explore various aspects of the role being played by DT in Human-Wildlife Interaction (HWI) and how it can have an impact, including:

- Wildlife-related (citizen) science and approaches for verifying and validating data received by Citizen Science schemes;

- The impact of the design of DT on gathering wildlife-related data and related interventions

- The use of social media in relation to wildlife and the related harvesting of data;

- The role played by DT in promoting information about wildlife in rural and urban areas;

- The public use of wildlife-related apps and their impact;

- The use of DT by wildlife experts and organisations to promote public engagement;

- DT and wildlife activism;

- How DT enables conservation, stewardship or caretaking of wildlife and how it supports wildlife welfare and wellbeing;

- The role played by DT in ameliorating HWC;

- DT and the development of wildlife-related public policy;

- The impact DT has had on human relationships to other wildlife.

Keywords: Wildlife, Human-Wildlife Interaction, Citizen Science, Conservation, Digital Technology, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Animal Activism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Digital technology (DT) first started to make its mark on the interactions between people and wildlife when it began to play a serious role in the tracking and monitoring of animal populations in the 1970s and 1980s. These early endeavours demanded large amounts of computing investment and the results could only be interpreted by a small number of people with the right expertise. However, an increasingly wide variety of applications have started to appear on smartphones to encourage the interest of ordinary users in identifying and monitoring wild animals, plants, fungi and other forms of wildlife in rural and urban areas. At the same time, citizen science has become an increasingly important motivator for the gathering of this kind of data. As a result, more and more people are having their interactions with wildlife mediated by digital technology. Computing now plays a significant role in the everyday work of conservation and it has also started to have an important impact on the amelioration of human-wildlife conflict (HWC). Nonetheless, its potential to improve the relationship between people and wildlife is still under-explored.

DT has had an impact upon people's relationship with wildlife species across a variety of dimensions and has helped to put new information about them into the public domain, chiefly through media representations. A range of smartphone applications can now support everyday encounters with wildlife by resourcing recognition, identification and the provision of information about wildlife species. Social media further supports the sharing of stories of encounters with wildlife in various ways. DT is implicated in the support of visitor and touristic encounters with animals in nature reserves and at visitor centres and non-experts now use DT to gather data about the movement and density of animal populations that can feed into conservation efforts. People also share data with scientists that help to enrich understanding of animal habitats. Beyond this, DT also plays a role in conservation activism, including efforts to reduce HWC. Lastly, DT has also had a huge impact on research and science, where it has enabled new ways of seeing and new forms of research on wildlife. At the same time, the widespread capture of wildlife data can bring with it issues, such as the reliability of the data providers, the incorrect identification of species, and potential misunderstanding of species behaviour and interactions. Poor data reliability can also result from tracking and monitoring technology impinging on animal welfare and altering the very behaviours and interactions that the technology is intended to capture. The consequences of gathering sensitive data on animals also need to be considered, including potential data security risks, whereby data collected for conservation purposes could be stolen and misused. Mitigating these risks highlights the importance of designing and deploying technological interventions that take into account the needs of animal stakeholders.

This Research Topic seeks to bring together a collection of papers that explore the impact digital technology can have upon the relationship between people and all forms of wildlife, for good and for bad, in different contexts and to identify the many challenges that still remain and the efforts being made to address them.

We are looking for full research papers, shorter position pieces and perspective articles, and even more creative or experimental contributions that seek to address and explore various aspects of the role being played by DT in Human-Wildlife Interaction (HWI) and how it can have an impact, including:

- Wildlife-related (citizen) science and approaches for verifying and validating data received by Citizen Science schemes;

- The impact of the design of DT on gathering wildlife-related data and related interventions

- The use of social media in relation to wildlife and the related harvesting of data;

- The role played by DT in promoting information about wildlife in rural and urban areas;

- The public use of wildlife-related apps and their impact;

- The use of DT by wildlife experts and organisations to promote public engagement;

- DT and wildlife activism;

- How DT enables conservation, stewardship or caretaking of wildlife and how it supports wildlife welfare and wellbeing;

- The role played by DT in ameliorating HWC;

- DT and the development of wildlife-related public policy;

- The impact DT has had on human relationships to other wildlife.

Keywords: Wildlife, Human-Wildlife Interaction, Citizen Science, Conservation, Digital Technology, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Animal Activism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Topic Coordinators

Loading..

Articles

Sort by:

Loading..

Authors

Loading..

views

total views views downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Share on

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.