SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 número99Evaluación de desempeño de métodos de relleno de datos pluviométricos en dos zonas morfoestructurales del Centro Sur de ChilePolítica de vivienda en México: entre la expansión y el retorno al centro índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




Links relacionados

  • No hay artículos similaresSimilares en SciELO


Investigaciones geográficas

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7279versión impresa ISSN 0188-4611


SERRANO-MONTES, José Luis  y  CABALLERO CALVO, Andrés. Animal geography: opportunities and challenges of a new approach to the geographical study of relationships between humans and non-human animals. Invest. Geog [online]. 2019, n.99, e59781.  Epub 25-Sep-2019. ISSN 2448-7279.

Within the Ibero-American geographic context, investigations on wildlife have traditionally been ascribed to Zoogeography, while the study of livestock and wildlife hunting has been studied from the rural geography and tourism perspectives and, to a lesser extent, from landscape geography. In the Anglo-Saxon geography, however, a new trend known as “animal geography” has emerged since the 1990s. Adapting a different perspective -cultural geography --, this sub-discipline analyzes the spatial dimension of the complex relationships between humans and animals. Its development and expansion has materialized with the availability of a growing number of publications that analyze these dimensions. It is a promising field that is beginning to be explored by French geographers as well. However, this approach has not been deeply rooted within the geographic field in Spanish-speaking countries.

The present work aims to 1) identify and characterize the different approaches focused on animals within the geographic context of an Ibero-American country, by selecting the specific case of Spain; and 2) summarize the main lines of research arising within the framework of the new geography of animals. The ultimate goal is to explore the opportunities and challenges involved in this emerging field for Ibero-American geographers.

The methodology is based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature currently available. A search, collection, and analysis of scientific articles published in English, Spanish and French as of June 2018 was conducted. The sources searched include: i) platforms such as Web of Science (WOS), Scopus, and Google Scholar; ii) Spanish journals of geography; iii) proceedings of all Biogeography Congresses held in Spain to date; (iv) international scientific journals of general geography and, in particular, of cultural geography.

For the case of Spain, the results obtained allowed the identification of a zoogeographic current developed over the Past two decades, although of a clearly minority nature compared with phytogeographic studies. Also, the last quarter of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of a research approach known as “hunting geography” that deals with the analysis of hunting. The study of animals from the Spanish geography is supplemented with contributions on marine fisheries, with traditional studies that examine livestock from the scope of rural geography, and with a set of recent investigations on the role of animals in landscape.

As regards the geography of animals, the interest in non-human animals has penetrated various areas of human geography, giving rise to fruitful hybridizations. The most relevant works include those that emerged in convergence with urban geography, critical geography, and landscape sciences, with publications on rewilding or those of methodological nature being equally important. Although less abundant, there are also noteworthy investigations carried out within rural geography, political geography, or historical geography. As theoretical and conceptual contributions of this subdiscipline, the expression out of place is worth mentioning, used to describe those animal populations that shatter socially established and spatial boundaries and create conflicts.

Undoubtedly, the geography of the animals constitutes an approach that has not ceased to grow and diversify, as evidenced by the growing number of articles published in international geographic journals. The current boom in this sub-discipline is inconsistent with the insufficient attention paid to animals by Hispanic geography, which does not match the growing social awareness in this regard. In many Latin American countries, the relationships between humans and animals are being questioned; the debate on bullfighting, the social conflicts caused by different animal species, or the emergence of new animal landscapes, are good examples of this. Along this line, there is a need to renew the Ibero-American biogeography according to the changing and novel relationships between humans and animals, consistent with the current geographical context. The recent foundation of the Ibero-American Biogeographic Society (2018) represents a unique opportunity for mainstreaming and promoting this promising line of investigation across Ibero-American geographers.

Palabras llave : Animal geography; Human-Animal studies; Cultural geography; Ibero-American geography.

        · resumen en Español     · texto en Español     · Español ( pdf )