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S5E3: Feral and Invasive Species with Lauren van Patter

Claudia talks to Lauren van Patter about the concepts of feral and invasive species. They touch on the differences between the two concepts and consider how issues of colonization, reproduction, and human control lead to the categorization of some animals as biosecurity threats.

About Lauren van Patter

Dr. Lauren Van Patter is the Kim & Stu Lang Professor in Community and Shelter Medicine in the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Lauren is an interdisciplinary animal studies researcher with a background in Environmental Sciences and Cultural Geographies. She has researched urban coyotes and feral cats in Canadian cities as well as free roaming dogs in rural Botswana. Lauren is a co-editor of the volume ‘A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies’, and has published in peer-reviewed Veterinary, Animal Studies, Geography, African Studies, and Wildlife Management journals. Connect with Lauren on Twitter (@levanpatter) or on her website.

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Recorded: 21 September 2022

Featured Readings:

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Animal Highlight: Crabs

Watercolor Turkey 2

In this episode's animal highlight, Amanda discusses crabs highlighting the varied types of of crabs and the different strategies they use to navigate their environments. She focuses on Green Crabs who are highly adaptable but often labelled as invasive species. 


" is it that societies so devoted to the task of making live—to flourishing populations, healthy bodies, extended lifespans—have been capable of such unprecedented violence?...This critical attitude is too often lacking when it comes to the beneficent and salvific aura of conservation and other prevailing regimes of scientific knowledge of animals. Insofar as these saviour savoirs also exert influence over the actions and lives of animals, they must be assessed as apparatuses of power. It is of course essential that we attempt to combat the anthropogenic extinction and mass killing of nonhuman species, but the ways in which we might do so are neither easy nor self-evident" - Matthew Chrulew, Managing Love and Death at the Zoo

"According to Anishnaabe teachings, all plant and animal nations have their own Creation stories, wisdom, and unique gifts given by their Creator, but people are understandable ignorant about these details for newly introduced species. Several community members we spoke with expressed interest in learning about newly introduced plants and animals from the indigenous people who have the longstanding connections to those species as well as from the new species themselves. Bud Biron, cultural educator from the Sault Ste Mari tribe, or example asked, "I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the Asian carp [Hypophthalmichthys piceus, and Ctenopharyngodon idella] or the hybrid cattail [Thypha x glauca] why they are here? We should use our ceremonies to ask these new plants and animals why they are here" - Nicholas Reo and Laura Ogden, Anishnaabe Aki

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Thank you to Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E) for sponsoring this podcast; the Biosecurities and Urban Governance Research Collective for sponsoring this season; Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_) for the bed music, Jeremy John for the logo, Christiaan Menz for his editing work, and Amanda Bunten-Walberg for the Animal Highlight

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