Publication update 7: What is wilderness?

Ever wondered what people mean when they use the word ‘wilderness’?

Selectively logged forest in Terengganu

To most people, the concept of wilderness generally means pristine, untouched nature, free from the destructive taint of humankind. Would you agree? Many early conservationists subscribed to this idea of wild areas that had been spared the human touch, and therefore their efforts were largely aimed at restoring nature to this perceived original state of being untainted and unchanged (e.g. see Sheil and Meijaard, 2010).

However, the truth is, over the many thousands of years that humans have occupied this planet, there are very few habitats that have not actually been influenced by us in some way or another. Continue reading