This article explores the intermingled violence and care of endangered species conservation. The structure of the paper takes the form of a narrative account of a day spent at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center in Hawai‘i, observing staff taking care of a captive population of critically endangered Hawaiian crows (Corvus hawaiiensis). Over the course of the day some animals were cared for (especially endangered birds), while others were trapped and killed as part of the conservation management of the larger property (i.e. feral pigs). This article works with these examples and the broader context of the Hawaiian crow project to explore the underlying conceptual frameworks and the associated regimes of ‘violent-care’ that structure how living beings are valued or sacrificed within contemporary conservation practices. The goal is not to develop or even apply a set of generalized ethical principles that would evaluate these outcomes. Rather, this article offers a descriptive and situated account of the values and framings that are already shaping possibilities for life and death in this project in an effort to render these frameworks and their assumptions visible and so more readily amenable to ongoing discussion, revision and contestation.
Recommended Citationvan Dooren, Thom, A Day with Crows - Rarity, Nativity and the Violent-Care of Conservation, Animal Studies Journal, 4(2), 2015, 1-28.