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  • 1 ZRC SAZU & University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
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This paper presents an asymmetry of meanings and values that different human agents who occupy the same geographical space ascribe to distinct wildlife species. This asymmetry is the result of these agents’ roles in the area and their contrasting epistemologies. The agents in question comprise the Goričko Nature Park as a conservation institution and inhabitants of the park, especially farmers. In most parks, the relationship between professionals and inhabitants is crucial to the park’s sustainability. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to point at a selected neuralgic point which divides the two. At stake is that both agents ascribe importance to wildlife species, but to different ones and for different reasons. While the park focuses on protected species, inhabitants are occupied with non-protected ones. Whereas the park projects positive values on species of its concern, inhabitants ascribe negative characteristics to species of their concern. The paper illustrates these disparate attitudes to wildlife and calls for a less biased park agenda which could benefit the park’s conservation project, yet it also acknowledges the lack of resources which hinders the park in properly fulfilling its role in the local web of relationships.

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