Website review: www.arkive.org

"It is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era" -- claims the site. The comparison may not, in some respects, be completely unjustified. ARKive is a digital library of images and sound recordings of endangered animals and plants. The idea is to store this audio-visual material, often as rare as its subjects, and make it accessible to all via the Internet

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

www.arkive.org

"It is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era" -- claims the site. The comparison may not, in some respects, be completely unjustified. ARKive is a digital library of images and sound recordings of endangered animals and plants. The idea is to store this audio-visual material, often as rare as its subjects, and make it accessible to all via the Internet. ARKive plans to ultimately have in place records for the 11,000 animals and plants that feature on the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) list of threatened species.

The range of ARKive's audience is enormous -- "from school children to scientists". From here, you can also go to Planet ARKive and ARKive Education. The former is an attractively-designed site for kids; and the latter features lesson plans and other material for educators and parents.

This website is the brainchild of the Wildscreen Trust, which seeks "to promote the conservation of nature for the purposes of study and research and to educate the public in the understanding and appreciation of nature". Immanent to this statement are the premises that form the core of western conservationism. "Nature" here is imagined as pristine and distant, whose primordial wilderness is to be preserved for study and appreciation. Not a social reality, but the subject of sentimental social enquiry. Could the website, therefore, be nothing but "a cultured person's playground," as Colonel Mervyn Lowie, who helped set up the Serengeti National Park, put it?

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