Geographies of conservation II: Technology, surveillance and conservation by algorithm

15 May 2018

The wide range of wildlife tracking and surveillance technologies (radio and satellite tracking, cameras, and audio) that are being deployed in conservation have important implications for a geographical understanding of care for non-human nature. This report explores four dimensions of their influence. First, their detailed view of spatial dimensions of non-human lives affects conservation’s demarcation and control of space. Second, the application of surveillance technologies to people is central to the rise of coercive conservation strategies. Third, such technologies enable the creation and commoditization of spectacular nature. Fourth, spatial digital data enables the automation of conservation decisions, a trend described here as ‘conservation by algorithm’.