Collaboration between CRC Projects B02, C03, A04 and the ERC Rewilding leads to new interdisciplinary publication on “Complexities of multispecies coexistence”

By Arvid van Dam (Project B02), Wisse van Engelen (ERC Rewilding), Detlef Müller-Mahn (Project C03), Sheila Agha (Project B02), Sandra Junglen (Project B02), Christian Borgemeister (Project B02) and Michael Bollig (Project A04 & ERC Rewilding)

Complexities of multispecies coexistence: Animal diseases and diverging modes of ordering at the wildlife–livestock interface in Southern Africa


The transmission of diseases between wildlife and livestock poses a major challenge to both conservation and livestock sectors in Southern Africa. Focusing on the cases of foot and mouth disease and trypanosomiasis in the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, this article explores the complexity of coexistence between humans, livestock, wildlife, vectors and pathogens. Multispecies coexistence, we suggest, is best understood not only through the relations between species, but also as characterized by a collision of modes of ordering. Drawing on expert interviews and a discourse analysis of policy documents and reports, we identify three modes of ordering coexistence: a categorical and increasingly disfavoured mode of species eradication, a territorial mode focused on containment and separation, and an infrastructural mode premised on connectivity between populations, landscapes and ecosystems. Together, these different modes of ordering pose a challenge to scientific knowledge production; where uncertainties present themselves not so much in the form of ignorance or knowledge gaps, but rather in the form of ambiguity: of knowing diseases and species differently. In this view, living with pathogens becomes a matter of recognizing the partiality of knowledge and the positionality of knowledge producers and users, as well as highlighting potential sites of alignment.

Find the full text here

Van Dam, A., van Engelen, W., Müller-Mahn, D., Agha, S., Junglen, S., Borgemeister, C., & Bollig, M. (2023). Complexities of multispecies coexistence: Animal diseases and diverging modes of ordering at the wildlife–livestock interface in Southern Africa. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 0(0). DOI. Full Text

More CRC News

Kilombero Valley in Tanzania

Francis Ching’ota and Jonathan Jackson on Broadening Participation in Research Through Building Sustainable Relationships and Disseminating Knowledge

In their latest publication titled “Maono ya Bonde la Kilombero, Tanzania: Historia za Maendeleo Yake”, Francis Ching’ota, an Assistant Lecturer from the National Institute of ...
Read More »
Poster for a public lecture hosted by the CRC Future Rural Africa on 18 December 2023

CRC-TRR Public Lecture: Asebe Debelo

Mon | December 18, 2023 | 16:00 – 17:30  CET We are excited for the next volume of the Future Rural Africa Public Lectures Series. ...
Read More »
The picture shows two hippos.

Publication: Regional Resilience and Social-Ecological Systems – the Impact of COVID-19 on Community Conservation in Namibia

By Linus Kalvelage, Project C01 Future in Chains and Lars Lüder, University of Cologne. ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected wildlife areas in Namibia, where ...
Read More »
Farming in Kenya

Publication: Cooperative membership and exposure to role models – Implications for income and asset aspirations

By Martin-Paul Jr. Tabe-Ojong, Thomas Heckelei, Kathy Baylis of CRC-TRR Future Rural Africa Project B01 “Invasive Futures” and Sebastian Rasch (University of Bonn). Abstract Although ...
Read More »
Cover image with the logo of the crc future rural africa & the logos of the uni cologne, uni bonn, and DFG

Upcoming Events Promoting Gender Equality and Diversity at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne

University of Bonn: Workshop Discussions A total of six workshop discussions will take place as part of the project. They are aimed at all students, ...
Read More »
Scroll to Top